How Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh is Changing Boxing

Turki Alalshikh is a Saudi adviser to the Royal Court and a successful businessman, admitted boxing fan, and began staging boxing events in Saudi Arabia featuring well-known fighters such as Amir Khan, Samuel Peter, and Callum Smith.

In 2017, Turki Alalshikh was appointed as the new chairman of the General Sports Authority by a decree from Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court.

Who is Alalshikh? He is a Saudi adviser to the Royal Court and a successful businessman. Alalshikh, an admitted boxing fan, began staging boxing events in Saudi Arabia featuring well-known fighters such as Amir Khan, Samuel Peter, and Callum Smith.

Because of Alalshikh, Saudi Arabia has hosted several high profile world heavyweight title fights and non-title fights such as Joshua vs Ruiz II, Joshua vs Usyk II, and Fury vs Naganou.

The elite heavyweight fighters reportedly earn mid-eight figure fight purses. The next heavyweight fight is on May 18, 2024 for the undisputed heavyweight title (WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF) between Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk.

This is a fight that the boxing world wants to see. It will likely result in one recognized world heavyweight champion such as when Mike Tyson ruled the division in the mid-1980s, then Holyfield, and then Lennox Lewis.

Alalshikh is pictured alongside a host of boxing legends – including Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan and Lennox Lewis

The Saudis headed by Alalshikh have deep pockets (billions) and are able and willing to pay fighters to take high risk fights (top competition) and fight in Saudi Arabia. There have been rumors that Alalshikh has shown interest in having elite fighters such as WBA lightweight Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who fights for Premier Boxing Champions, fight in Saudi Arabia, but as of yet nothing materialized. Tank is set to fight in Las Vegas in June.

A good businessman, Alalshikh knows that expansion can be good for business. He surprised the boxing world by announcing that he was teaming up with unified world welterweight champion and “Pound for Pound” best fighter in the world Terrance “Bud” Crawford, who will challenge WBA jr. middleweight champion Israil Madrimov for what will be Crawford’s fourth world title in as many weight division if he is victorious.

Surprisingly, this fight card will not be held in Saudi Arabia but in the United States at the BMO stadium in Los Angeles, California. The undercard is one of the strongest this writer  has ever seen. There are high profile fights on the undercard that can easily be a main event card in Las Vegas on any given Saturday night.

The undercard has former world champion Tim Tsyzu vs top contender Vergil Ortiz, both fighters in their prime. Heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller is looking to rebound from a loss against former World Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, who is also looking to rebound his career into another title fight.

Newly crowned WBA jr. welterweight Champion Isaac “Pit Bull” Cruz will facer top contender Rayo Valenzuela for the title. Former WBC Heavyweight Champion  Deontay Wilder, should he defeat top contender Zhilei Zhang on Jun. 1, 2024 in Saudi Arabia (another Alalshikh card), is scheduled to face undefeated top contender Jared Anderson.

This writer has never seen such a boxing card! Alalshikh is working with the top boxing promoters in the boxing world such as Premier Boxing Champions, Top Rank, Matchroom, and Salita Promotions, to name just a few. They have allowed their fighters to fight on his card. The Aug. 3, 2024 card will no doubt be a success, and it shows the senior boxing promoters there can be cooperation amongst other promoters to have great boxing cards, to share revenue and give fight fans the best fights.

Rumor has it that Alalshikh is attempting to sign, should Crawford defeat Madrimov, “Face of Boxing” Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Crawford or Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez vs David Benavidez. These are two “Super Fights’ that intrigue the boxing world, but Canelo has been reluctant to agree thus far. Canelo has stated that because Crawford is a physically smaller fighter, he will not receive credit for defeating him. As for Benevidez, Canelo is willing to fight him for a reported whopping $200 million fight purse! If Alashikh can arrange a  fight card of the magnitude of August 3, 2024 with so many boxing stars, he definitely may be the one to sign Canelo vs Crawford or Canelo vs Benavidez.

Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet to say Turki Alashikh is changing boxing.

Boxing Notes

In our most recent article Haiti Liberté reported on Ryan “KingRy” Garcia’s victory over WBC junior welterweight Champion Devin Haney back on Apr. 20, 2024. After the fight, it was reported that Garcia’s post fight drug tested was positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED). In sports such as boxing, certain drugs are banned  because they give fighters an unfair advantage over their opponent in strength, speed, ability to lose weight, etc.. The PED was Ostarine, which gives an advantage in stamina, muscle growth, and an ability to lose fat.

Garcia’s A sample was positive. If the B sample is negative Garcia will be exonerated. If the B sample is found to contain Ostarine or other PEDs, Garcia faces a fine, suspension, and his victory over Haney will likely be changed from a victory to a “no contest.” We will keep readers posted of the results of the B sample.

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