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Saudi Wealth Fund Negotiating to Launch New Boxing League

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is negotiating with boxing promotion companies to establish a new boxing league, aiming to expand the kingdom's investments in the sports sector.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is in talks with promoters such as the UK's Matchroom Boxing and the US's Golden Boy Promotions to create a new $4-5 billion venture for hosting more boxing matches. The PIF will hold a minority stake in the venture, which seeks to unite the sport’s organisers.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, was reportedly involved in the final negotiations for the potential deal a month ago. Currently, the World Boxing Council, the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, and the World Boxing Organisation run their respective championships independently.

Saudi Arabia has been actively attracting global sports and entertainment stars. In August 2023, the kingdom's SRJ Sports Investments acquired a minority stake in the mixed martial arts organisation Professional Fighters League for $100 million.

As part of its Vision 2030 diversification plans, the government aims to increase the contribution of sports, entertainment, and tourism to GDP. Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, signed a four-year global partnership with FIFA, the international football association. In February, PIF became the official naming partner of the ATP rankings, extending its sponsorship to the governing body of men’s tennis. Additionally, the fund has secured a deal to host the Women’s Tennis Association finals for the next three years.

In June 2023, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the PIF-backed LIV circuit announced a merger agreement to form a unified commercial entity, resolving the heated dispute that had divided the sport.


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