Boxxer and Saudi likely to link hands in the future

While Boxxer are starting to bring through stars, promoter Ben Shalom acknowledges that their fighters and perhaps even their shows might eventually head out to Saudi Arabia.

Boxxer have an agreement with Sky Sports as their broadcaster, and the involvement of Saudi Arabia has been welcomed by many in boxing, while others are concerned about the sport being used as a vehicle for sportswashing.

But fights that previously would not have been made are being made, alliances are forming and Boxxer could find themselves getting involved.

“I think the Saudis are doing great things for the sport and of course there’s fights and names [from Boxxer] that they’re interested in,” admitted Shalom. “But right now, we want to try and put on the biggest fights we can in this country, because people want those fights, they’re coming out in their droves.”

Shalom was referring to recent shows that have included the likes of Natasha Jonas, Joshua Buatsi and Ben Whittaker, who have all shone in 2024. 

“What they’re doing with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua [in Saudi] is very special, we don’t have Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua,” added Shalom. “We want to make sure we’re creating the future stars and we believe a lot of them are created in this country.

“Will we be working with Saudi in the future? Of course, because they’re very, very powerful in the sport, making great fights at the moment but right now our focus is on domestic fights and bringing fighters through and we’re in a different position to Matchroom and Queensberry and we have fighters we’re at an earlier stage in their careers and we aren’t at that time when they are necessarily looking to cash out at the end of their careers and whatnot, but of course we will work with Saudi.”