His Excellency Turki Alalshikh: Boxing Needs Revamp, Saudi Arabia Steps Up
His Excellency Turki Alalshikh feels that boxing has gone in decline since the 70s & 80s when it was one of the top sports in the world. Alalshikh wants to modernize things and fix boxing to make it popular once again like it once was for many years.
He believes these were the root causes of the decline of boxing:
- Promoters reluctance to make the biggest fights that cost money
- Fighters avoiding risky opposition
- Lack of charismatic fighters
- Four sanctioning bodies
- Failure of promoters to cooperate with others.
Alalshikh’s idea to fix boxing is to make it interesting for the younger generation by enhancing the presentation, using music, using more cameras like what the UFC does, having exciting events, and having compelling fights.
Boxing’s Decline and Potential Causes
“In the 70s and 80s, the sport #1 in the world was boxing. Now, I’m very sad with the last result I had before we go deeper. Boxing is 14th,” said His Excellency Turki Alalshikh to DAZN Boxing.
“There are a lot of reasons. There’s not a lot of fighters as charismatic and character now. There is a lot of problems with the promoters. They don’t want to do the strongest fights because it costs a lot,” Alalshikh continued.
In the ’70s and ’80s, there were stars like Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, and Tommy Hearns. These were fighters that wanted to fight the best and weren’t avoiding risky opposition like the top boxers from this era.
Modernization and Fan Engagement
“Some fighters don’t want to do the strongest fight, and there are four companies and four belts. Also, you need to catch the youngest generation. You need to have a good poster, good music, good show, and a good promotion.
“Use a lot of cameras. Similar to what the UFC is doing. They do it right because they’re a company, and they’re the only company. For that, we’re coming with a new strategy, and with a new idea to deliver to the market the best fight with a good price and make the fight the people want to see.
Focus on Top Clashes and Star Power
“We don’t want to waste time. Tyson Fury is 35 now, and Joshua is around 33. Usyk is around 36. Wilder is 38. Artur is now 39 next week. Why are we losing time? The people need to see Joshua-Fury and Fury-Joshua. We need to see Joshua-Wilder, and I hope Wilder comes back.
Alalshikh wants to showcase the biggest stars:
- Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury
- Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua
- Joseph Parker vs. Zhilie Zhang
- Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol
“You know the rumor that the fight was between Joshua and Wilder. You saw the result and the body condition of Wilder now. It would not be reasonable to have the fight now.
“We want him to come back. Parker, you see what an amazing show, and he’s one of the best boxers to come back now this year. If I ask you to give me 20 or 30 names of athletes in America, half of them in the 70s and 80s were boxers. Now, give me a name.
“I don’t have magic, but I have something more powerful than magic. Behind me, we have two big mountains. The King and the Crown Prince. They support what we are doing. We cannot do this without their support,” said