Saudi jiu-jitsu team scoop 5 medals at world championship

Boxers arrive in Riyadh for historic 5v5 event

The boxers, who competed in the eagerly anticipated 5-on-5 bout in Riyadh, made a grand appearance at Boulevard City in the Saudi capital on Tuesday night.

The event is set to go down in history as boxing’s biggest promoters and British rivals, Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, face each other. Their fighters will compete in the ring on June 1 at the Kingdom Arena as part of the Riyadh season.

In the main fight, Russian champion Dmitry Bivol will face Libyan opponent Malik Zinad. The pair attracted a lot of attention on Tuesday night when fans approached them at the boxers’ arrivals to take photos. Pressure is mounting on both champions to maintain their 22-fight unbeaten record.

About the fighting in Saudi Arabia, Zinad told Arab News: “It’s fantastic — it’s a great feeling for me. I give everyone hope that they work hard and nothing is impossible… work hard and you will succeed.”

His opponent, Bivol, previously told Arab News that the event was an “incredible opportunity” for him to showcase his boxing skills in a new region and gain fans in the process.

“Saudi Arabia is still a new region for boxing events, but they are doing well and I hope they continue to do so,” he said.

Saturday’s undercard features Warren’s camp Nick Ball, Hamzah Sheeraz, Willy Hutchinson, Daniel Dubois and Zhang Zhilei. Hearn’s lineup includes Austin Williams, Raymond Ford, Craig Richards, Filip Hrgovic and Deontay Wilder.

Arab News asked Warren about the possibility of the Saudi boxer one day representing Queensberry on the world stage.

“I don’t think it’s going to be that far … if you look at the skill set of some of them, you look at how they train, you can see that they really believe in it and in it to a great extent,” he said.

“I promise you there will be Saudi champions soon in the future.”

The family rivalry between Warren and Hearn goes back five decades, and boxing fans around the world are bursting with excitement to finally see them team up in a 5-on-5 match.

Warren told Arab News that “Riyadh is now the boxing capital of the world” and that boxing events in the Kingdom “go from strength to strength.”

He added: “I’m 72 now — I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’ve seen it all’ but I haven’t seen it all. I am regularly surprised.”

Hearn believes that Saudi Arabia’s massive infrastructure and hosting of top boxing events are important to creating champions of the sport in the Kingdom.

“You go around local gyms, Mike Tyson gyms, you see young guys, young girls chasing their dreams because they see it here on the field, you know, and you have to have role models — you have to have heroes. ,” he told Arab News.

“I think you’re going to see great fighters coming out of the kingdom. It will take time, but the infrastructure is there,” he added.

Saudi professional boxer Ziyad Almaayouf was spotted making the grand arrival. He told Arab News that matches like 5v5 “inspire young fighters like me to take risks and fight the best.”

The event will not only be significant in boxing history, but also because of the impact it will have on each fighter’s career.

Ahead of the big arrival, Wilder told Arab News: “This is everything for me. That could be the be-all and end-all for me.”

On Wednesday, the boxers are preparing public training sessions for fans, and on Thursday they will attend a press conference.

On Friday, the boxers will have their official weigh-in before the big event on Saturday night.

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