Alalshikh and Warren dismiss De La Hoya’s complaints of Saudi’s not understanding the boxing business

The press conference to kick-off proceedings for the heavyweight encounter with Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou followed a similar pattern to previous events.

It also highlighted the growing influence of Turki Alalshikh. 

The man behind the rise of Riyadh Season and the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alaslshikh has been instrumental in resolving traditional boxing conflicts by persuading promotional enemies to join forces. 

Previously a muted figure, Alalshikh took centre stage with his press conference appearance and made quite an impression. 

Firstly, he told Ngannou that he needs to be defeated by Joshua, as he has other fights in the pipeline which he wants to make. 

Secondly, confirmed his intention to make the winner of the Joshua vs Ngannou to face the victor of the undisputed heavyweight clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, which takes place in Riyadh on February 17. Alalshikh demonstrated his point with a PowerPoint slide with an 'undisputed' belt with the logos of all four major sanctioning bodies attached to the slide.

Thirdly, Alalshikh called for a five vs five-fight card between Eddie Hearn's Matchroom and Frank Warren's Queensberry stables, something UK fight fans have clamoured for for years. 

That was supposed to be the end of Alalshikh's comments until journalist Gareth A. Davies grabbed a microphone and interjected as Alalshikh attempted to leave a balcony above the stage where the protagonists were positioned.

Davies asked Alashikh about comments from Oscar De La Hoya, who criticised the Saudis for not understanding the business of boxing. Alalshikh bluntly replied: “We will miss him. Thank you.”

Frank Warren, during his comments in the press conference, further criticised De La Hoya regarding his Instagram comments, posted before Monday's press conference. 

"I’m very disappointed that Oscar should say what he said,” stated Warren. “He should know better than that. This is great for the sport."

De La Hoya has so far not responded to the comments made by Alashikh and Warren.