The World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final will be held in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in May 2018 following an agreement signed in London between World Boxing Super Series organizer and owner Comosa AG and The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. The date and venue for the Final will be announced in due time. The Muhammad Ali trophy will be awarded to the winner of the contest in the final stage of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series, which has seen growing worldwide attention and broadcast coverage across more the 60 countries since its launch and Gala Draw in Monaco back in July.
Turki Al-Alsheikh, President of The General Sports Authority: “This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia. Having the first final of such a high profile and groundbreaking tournament take place in Saudi Arabia is a key milestone for us, and will be one of many major sports events to take place in the Kingdom next year.”
“The interest in boxing amongst the young generation is there and growing rapidly, which is why the GSA is also working to form a grassroots partnership with one of the largest international boxing federations to promote the sport. Our involvement in the Muhammad Ali trophy is the perfect way to step up our engagement in boxing, given how popular and well respected this great sporting athlete has always been.”
Roberto Dalmiglio, CEO of Comosa: “This is fantastic news, not just for World Boxing Super Series but for boxing and for the sport in Saudi Arabia. We have seen huge and growing interest in the World Boxing Super Series from fight fans, broadcasters, commercial partners and venue owners from the major boxing markets around the world. The competition to host the cruiserweight final has been fierce, and we are delighted to be able to announce the winner.”
“I am sure that Saudi Arabia will lay on a fitting finale to the first year of the WBSS and first award of the Muhammad Ali trophy! We are proud to be working with the Saudi General Sports Authority on what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2018 sporting calendar in Jeddah.”
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “The Muhammad Ali trophy is going from strength to strength and, with the cruiserweight division featuring all four federation world champions, the undisputed champion will be crowned next May. We will also feature local fighters on the undercard to help promote the sport locally.“
“The Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered in Saudi Arabia, and Ali himself fought his greatest battles (‘The Thriller in Manila’ and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) in locations not normally associated with boxing, so it is fitting to bring big-time boxing to Jeddah in the name of the Greatest of All Time.”
The first fights of the World Boxing Super Series took place in September and three of the four quarterfinals in the Cruiserweight division has already taken place. 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist and 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.
WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos defeated number one ranked Dmitry Kudryashov with a sensational second-round knockout in San Antonio. Finally, hometown hero Mairis Briedis outpointed Cuba’s Mike Perez in Riga to retain his WBC world title belt and set up a semi-final clash with Aleksandr Usyk.
Next up is Russia’s IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev against Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, with the winner to face Yunier Dorticos. The venues of both semi-finals, which are expected to take place in the second half of January next year, will be announced in due course.