Eddie Hearn’s Saudi Arabia speech to present Anthony Joshua’s rematch to the gathering media was certainly one for the ages.
The Matchroom boss sold the rematch at the recent press conference in the region. Hearn was on top form with his verbal expression.
From the colossal first meeting between Joshua and Ruiz in New York, to a promise of more events to come, Hearn’s words captured the imagination.
Beginning with Thank yous all around, Hearn revealed just how hard the Saudi Arabian investors pushed to secure the heavyweight blockbuster.
“Thanks to everybody who made this event possible. The GSA, Prince Abdulaziz thank you. Skills Challenge Entertainment, Omar and the team. And a huge thank you to Prince Khalid who plagued me and didn’t let this go to bring this fight here,” said Hearn.
“We were so close and looking at almost a dozen other venues that were knocking at our door for this World Heavyweight Championship, the biggest fight in boxing today. Prince Khalid saw the vision, the love and passion for the sport and would not stop calling me. He would not stop trying to bring this event to Saudi Arabia.
“I have to tell you, sitting here now and having just watched that incredible show and having been a fight fan for 30 years, I felt a bit emotional. This is such a monumental occasion for our sport which is sometimes very narrow-minded. There’s Las Vegas, there’s New York, there’s London – no. There is a whole world out there and now there is Saudi Arabia for boxing.
“This is such a monumental opportunity for our sport. You’re not just bringing a fight to the Kingdom. You are bringing the biggest fight in world boxing, the biggest prize in boxing – the World Heavyweight Championship.”
Discussing the magnitude of the return, along with outlining details of the venue for Joshua v Ruiz II, the Essex man added: “This is not a one off fight. This is a rematch for one of the fights of the year.
“Back on June 1 at the sold out Madison Square Garden we witnessed one of the greatest Heavyweight upsets of all time. Andy Ruiz may not feel it was an upset, but it did go down in history that way. It was an incredible fight with both men on the canvas as Andy Ruiz beat Anthony Joshua to become the Unified World Heavyweight Champion.
“On December 7 in Diriyah we do it all again, for your entertainment. It takes place in a purpose-built, open-air arena with 16,000 people.
“We love what you are doing here for sport. We love Formula E, we love the European Tour and I think that WWE is great. But there is nothing like the sport of boxing.
“You will witness an event that will go down in history – some people will be looking from the outside in and say this is a strange destination but they also said that with ‘The Rumble in The Jungle’ and ‘The Thriller in Manilla’.
“This as an event will go down in history just like those iconic moments in our sport.”
In closing, Hearn promised to help develop Saudi Arabia as a boxing nation.
“This is not just about bringing a major fight to Saudi Arabia. This is about the potential to grow the sport of boxing here.
“One of the reasons that we’re even here is because of Prince Khalid’s vision to grow the sport here. We’re already in the talks about academies. About grass-roots boxing, this is how you grow the sport of boxing.
“Trust me, the people of Saudi Arabia once they see this event and touch and taste the sport of boxing, they will be addicted.
“This will be a monumental occasion for this sport. The world will stand still to witness history in Saudi Arabia.”