Oscar De La Hoya has come in for some ribbing from Saudi Arabia’s Chairman of General Authority for Entertainment and boxing matchmaker, Turki Al-Sheikh.
Al-Sheikh has made big moves to position Saudi Arabia at the centre of the boxing universe in the last year. He has stolen the limelight from traditional hotspots like Las Vegas by putting on vast cards in huge, newly built areas with out-of-this-world production.
The shows have brought fighters together quickly, proving that money talks, but have also considered the fans and kept pay-per-view prices affordable.
After the historic night in December, known as the Day of Reckoning, Al-Sheikh has followed it up with the first heavyweight undisputed showdown in 24 years when Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury come together on February 17.
Soon after that, Anthony Joshua takes on Francis Ngannou on March 8 as the closing event of this year’s Riyadh Season, the undercard for which has just been announced.
Even the fight after that is said to be secured with the winner of it set to take on the newly crowned undisputed champion, whoever that may be.
One man who is not said to be impressed is former fighter turned Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya. It was put to Al-Sheikh that the American didn’t think some of the fights should be happening in Saudi.
Speaking at the press conference, he gave a dismissive response.
“We will miss him. Thank you.”
Right now, Saudi Arabia is running boxing, and it doesn’t look set to change any time soon.