Jeddah promised a fight to rival the Rumble in the Jungle

Author: Greg WilcoxTue, 2017-10-17 03:00ID: 1508354177195277400LONDON: Boxing fans in Saudi Arabia have been promised a bout for the ages, after Monday’s announcement that the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final will be held in Jeddah next May. The competition, which has already begun, sees eight of the world’s best boxers take to the ring in a bid to claim the Muhammad Ali trophy. And while many followers of the “Sweet Science” will not associate the sport with the Kingdom, Kalle Sauerland, the brainchild behind the competition, yesterday claimed that next May’s clash has the potential to live long in the memory and put Jeddah on the boxing map. Referring to two of the most famous fights in the sport’s history (see pictures below) Sauerland said boxing and the Kingdom could be a perfect match. “The Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered in the Middle East and boxing is a global sport,” the German chief boxing officer of Comosa, the competition’s organizer, said. “If you look at the big fighters and the big fights through history, they haven’t always been in the classic venues where you would associate boxing.“Instead of London, New York or Las Vegas, they’ve taken part in Zaire for example, the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘Thrilla in Manila’ were amazing and it’s fantastic that boxing has this global transcendence.“With the Ali trophy we’ve got a signal of the great man’s ambassadorial brand and that’s something we’re hoping can awaken the boxing world of Saudi Arabia.”As you might expect, Sauerland was not backward in selling the significance of the fight. “The whole world will be watching when this final takes place,” he added. “The fact that the finals of the inaugural season of the Champions League of boxing is taking place in Saudi Arabia where everyone will be watching is a great platform and I’m sure we can take that forward into the future.“This is the best versus the best, the world champions, the undefeated challengers and this is the first time there has ever been a Champions League trophy at stake with a total prize fund of $50 million.”The reason behind his enthusiasm is not hard to see. The line up is impressive. Current WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk kicked off the cruiserweight tournament by spectacularly stopping Marco Huck, a former record-breaking World Champion himself, in the 10th round in Berlin. Then WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos defeated No.1 ranked Dmitry Kudryashov with a sensational second round knockout in San Antonio. Mairis Briedis outpointed Cuba’s Mike Peres in Riga to retain his WBC world title belt. Next up is Russia’s IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev against Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in New Jersey next weekend, with the winner to face Dorticos.The dates for the final in Jeddah, and the semis, are yet to be made but, thanks to the high-profile names, the organizers are already predicting sellout crowds with huge interest already shown in the bouts that have taken place. “We are very happy with what we have done so far,” Roberto Dalmiglio, CEO of Comosa said. “It was a fantastic discussion with the Saudis, it was impossible to say no. This will be a lot for the world of boxing. “There will be big crowds of that, we know that.”
Main category: Sports

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