Sports Equipment

The Gulf Could Own Global Sports Soon

Eddie Hearn was feeling emotional. Flanked by boxers Anthony Joshua, a former heavyweight champion, and Andy Ruiz Jr., a Mexican-American fighter who shocked the sport by winning their bout in June, the British sports promoter was in Diriyah, a historical site in conservative Saudi Arabia, talking up the next championship bout.

In comparison to the usual pre-fight press conference, it was a polite affair. The boxers avoided trading insults and praised their hosts. Interviews were conducted after prayers.

“Sometimes our sport is very narrow-minded,” says Hearn. “There’s Las Vegas, there’s New York, there’s London. [But] there’s a whole world out there and now there’s Saudi Arabia for boxing.”

It has changed the face of world sport.

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