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الخميس - 09 فبراير 2023

Thu - 09 Feb 2023

With the highly anticipated professional boxing clash between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury fast-approaching, interest and excitement are sure to scale newfound heights across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following

tonight’s official press conference at Riyadh’s Faisaliah Hotel.

Billed as ‘The Truth’, the upcoming bout involving two of the sport’s biggest rivals and fastest-rising stars is the latest must-see sports event for young Saudi Arabians, promising to deliver a night of unforgettable non-stop action live from the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah on February 26. A part of Diriyah Season’s second edition, ‘The Truth’ is organized by the Ministry of Sport in association with Saud Boxing Federation, Skill Challenge Entertainment, Most Valuable Promotions and Queensberry Promotions.

Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Saad, Executive Board Member, Skill Challenge Entertainment, said: “We are privileged with the great support provided by the Saudi leadership, represented by H.H King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. With their incredible support, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become a global destination for the most important sporting events – with ‘The Truth’ and Jake Paul v Tommy Fury the latest example of our country’s proud position. We had a great ambition to organize and host a fight of this profile, intrigue, and interest and today, we have succeeded in achieving this goal. We are equally proud that February 26 will witness several exciting fights prior to the main event, including a crop of Saudi Arabian champions, who have to opportunity to compete as part of this global showpiece.”

Both undefeated, an epic event awaits the Kingdom’s young population as the two headline fighters put their perfect professional records on line, with glory, bragging rights and huge future match-ups in store for the winner.

Having initially gained international fame and popularity as an actor and social media personality, Paul (6-0, 4 KO) has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of boxing since turning his attentions to sport. Now a global phenomenon, the American enters the contest in inspired form following a final round stoppage victory over UFC legend Anderson Silva in October and is all the more confident with the many millions of fans in his corner.

“I’ve always grown up watching big fights, watching boxing, but to be here in Saudi Arabia with such amazing people, for such a massive fight, is incredible. I’d like to say thank you to the Kingdom, Ministry of Sport and Prince Khaled for having me here,” said Paul. “The fanbase here is amazing. The opportunity to meet so many fans here in the past while with the WWE was a big reason behind me wanting to return.”

Asked what Saudi Arabia and the world can expect on fight night, the 26-year-old was emphatic in his response: “I’m going to knock this kid (Fury) out in four rounds or less. I’ve put every single opponent on the canvas - everyone I’ve fought has touched the ground. Tommy has no power, no idea what’s coming his way. He’s unprofessional, he’s not a real businessman, he’s not even a real fighter – and I’m going to prove it. That’s why this fight is called ‘The Truth’. On February 26, the truth will come out.”

Standing in his way is Fury (8-0, KO 4), who has also amassed an impressive record to date and comes with a strong boxing pedigree having been born into the sport. The half-brother of WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Britain’s Tommy Fury aims to build his own legacy in the ring and is equally confident of victory. Much like Paul, he too will be backed by strong support from afar given his family links and self-made popularity as a reality television personality in the UK, setting the scene for an enthralling encounter that further inspires young men and women in a country transforming through sport.

Paul v Fury is the latest headline boxing event to grace Saudi shores, following ‘Clash on the Dunes’ between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua in 2019 and last year’s ‘Rage on the Red Sea’, which again featured Joshua in a second meeting with pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk. These events proved defining in the Kingdom’s emergence as the fastest-growing country in world sport, inspiring a 300% increase in boxing nationwide, 35% increase in sports participation and 150% surge in female participation, as well as investment in all levels of boxing and sport.

With the eyes of the world now firmly fixed on Paul v Fury, this upcoming event will set the scene for a year-round schedule of international events designed to inspire in line with the Kingdom’s ambitions, with a packed undercard also in store featuring Ilunga Makabu v Badou Jack for the WBC cruiserweight title and emerging Saudi talent.

Speaking about his upcoming title defense, reigning champion Ilunga Makabu said: “I wish to extend my appreciation to the Kingdom’s leadership and Ministry of Sport for the opportunity to be here in Saudi Arabia. Becoming world champion was always a dream of mine, but my mission now is to defend my title in a country committed to developing the sport of boxing. I’m proud to be here and look forward to showcasing my skills on such a big stage.”

Commenting on his upcoming world title fight and the opportunity to compete in Saudi Arabia once again, Badou Jack added: “I feel blessed. As a Muslim, to fight in the motherland of my faith, for a world title, is truly amazing. To become the first Muslim to win a world title in Saudi Arabia would be historic and I’m very thankful and proud to have this opportunity.”