The World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final will be held in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in May 2018 following an agreement signed today in London between WBSS organizer and owner Comosa AG and The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.
The date of the Final will be announced in due course. The Muhammad Ali trophy will be awarded to the winner of the contest in the final stage of this inaugural year of the WBSS, which has seen growing worldwide attention and broadcast coverage across more the 60 countries since its launch and Gala Draw in Monaco back in July. The first fights took place in September.
Three of the four quarterfinals in the Cruiserweight division have already taken place. Olympic Gold Medallist and current WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk kicked off the cruiserweight tournament by spectacularly stopping Marco Huck, a former record breaking World Champion himself, in the 10th round in Berlin. And then WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos defeated number one ranked Dmitry Kudryashov with a sensational second round knockout in San Antonio. Finally, hometown hero Mairis Briedis outpointed Cuba’s Mike Peres in Riga to retain his WBC world title belt and set up a semi-final clash with Aleksandr Usyk. Next up is Russia’s IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev against Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Newark, New Jersey next weekend, with the winner to face Yunier Dorticos. The venues of both semi-finals, which are expected to take place in the second half of January next year, will be announced in due course.
Turki Al-Alsheikh, President of The General Sports Authority (GSA): “This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia. Having the first final of such a high profile and ground breaking tournament take place in Jeddah Saudi Arabia is a key milestone for us, and will be one of many major sports events to take place in the Kingdom starting next year. The interest in boxing amongst young youth is there and is growing rapidly, which is why GSA is also working with forming a grassroots partnership with one of the largest international boxing federations to promote the sport. Our involvement in the Muhammad Ali trophy is the perfect way to step up our engagement in boxing, given how popular and well respected this great sporting athlete has always been”.
Roberto Dalmiglio, CEO of Comosa: “This is fantastic news not just for WBSS but for boxing and for the sport in the Middle East and North Africa. We have seen huge and growing interest in the World Boxing Super Series from fight fans, as well as broadcasters, venue owners and commercial partners. Not only will viewers across the middle East and North Africa now be able to watch the best of the best cruiserweights in action, but it is fantastic to have now secured the hosting of one of our two finals. I am sure that Jeddah Saudi Arabia will lay on a fitting finale to the first WBSS and award of the Muhammad Ali trophy for the first time! We are very proud to be working with the Saudi General Sports Authority on what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2018 sporting events in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.”
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “The Muhammad Ali trophy is going from strength to strength and, with the cruiserweight division featuring all four federation world champions, the undisputed champion will be crowned in Jeddah Saudi Arabia next May. We will also feature local fighters on the undercard and help promote the sport locally. The Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered in the Middle East and Africa, and Ali himself fought his greatest battles (‘The Thriller in Manila’ and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) in locations not normally associated with boxing, so it is fitting to bring big time boxing to Jeddah in the name of the Greatest of All Time”.