The Boxing Super League! Saudi chiefs ‘discussing’ £4BILLION deal to create a new ‘league’ which could unite the biggest boxers and promoters and re-shape the sport… under their control

  • Boxing is the latest sport to attract possible investment from Saudi Arabia’s PIF 
  • PIF is looking to invest in a joint venture with some of the sport’s stakeholders
  • Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions are involved in the discussions

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) are in talks with multiple boxing stakeholders over a £4billion deal to create a new league, potentially reshaping the competitive landscape of the sport, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

PIF is looking to invest in a joint venture with some of the sport’s stakeholders that would feature more boxing bouts, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A handful of leading promoters including Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions are involved in the discussions that could result in a deal valuing the new entity between $4-5billion (£3.1-3.9bn), one of the people said. PIF wants to create a venture that would bring the main sport’s organisers together, in which it would take a minority stake, the person added.

Turki al-Sheikh, a close advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has been heavily involved in the sports sector and is chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, was overseeing the final discussions around a potential deal about a month ago, a second person added.

Reuters could not establish the details around how a league would be structured.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) are in talks with multiple boxing stakeholders over a £4bn deal to create a new league. Pictured: Governor of the PIF, Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan

Turki al-Sheikh sits alongside Anthony Joshua (centre) and Frank Warren (left) in Saudi Arabia

Turki al-Sheikh sits alongside Anthony Joshua (centre) and Frank Warren (left) in Saudi Arabia 

PIF and Matchroom Boxing declined to comment and Golden Boy Promotions did not respond to requests for comment.

Currently the sport is made up of boxing organisations including the World Boxing Council, the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, and the World Boxing Organisation, which each have their own rules for championship belts.

Saudi Arabia has poured billions of dollars into sport as it seeks to wean the kingdom off of oil dependency under de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to bring in tourism, boost the private sector, and create jobs.

Boxing is the latest sport to attract possible investment from the PIF, which is chaired by the crown prince, after deals across golf, Formula 1, and football. The fund has also been considering an investment in a new cycling league, Reuters has reported.

Oleksandr Usyk (left) defeated Tyson Fury (right) by split decision in Saudi Arabia last month

Oleksandr Usyk (left) defeated Tyson Fury (right) by split decision in Saudi Arabia last month

Saudi Arabia has poured billions of dollars into sport as it seeks to wean the kingdom off of oil dependency under de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed's Vision 2030 program

Saudi Arabia has poured billions of dollars into sport as it seeks to wean the kingdom off of oil dependency under de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 program

‘Boxing has the potential to attract awareness for investors to the kingdom,’ said Sebastion Sons, senior researcher at consultancy CARPO.

‘By investing in sport, Saudi Arabia wants to get more market access, establish new political and economic networks, wants to gain attraction as a tourist destination, and also wants to raise global awareness for the transformation Saudi Arabia is undergoing.’

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