Saudi PIF Fund Aiming to Create a Massive Boxing League

  • The Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Saudi Arabia was established to invest the country’s funds into various industries.
  • Sports has become a major target for the PIF, as they have taken over Newcastle United in the English Premier League, lured many big names to their soccer league, and established LIV Golf.
  • This potential boxing venture would amalgamate the biggest boxing companies in the world, including Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing.

Saudi Arabia is making major moves to diversify their economy, which is largely based on oil currently. Sports is a considerable part of their diversification plan, as they have invested heavily in soccer and golf.

Boxing looks to be their next area of investment as a Reuters report claims that the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is trying to combine the sport’s largest companies.

Saudi Arabia is home to some of the biggest boxing matches recently, including the recent Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Uysk heavyweight fight. While boxing isn’t the draw it used to be, important fights still get plenty of viewers and action at the top boxing betting sites. Now, PIF is aiming to become an even bigger part of modern boxing.

PIF Reportedly Looking to Buy Golden Boy, Matchroom Boxing and others

The Reuters report states that PIF, led by Turki al-Sheikh, wants to invest in a group that includes the largest and most popular promotions in boxing. Golden Boy Promotions, which is owned by former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya, is one of the companies PIF is inquiring about.

Matchroom Boxing is owned by famed boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, and PIF would like to acquire them as well. There are rumors that PIF has also tried to involve Top Rank Boxing and Premier Boxing Champions, but their potential participation hasn’t been confirmed.

Golden Boy isn’t responding to attempts by Reuters to reach them, while PIF and Matchroom Boxing have declined comment on the matter.

Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, has attempted to establish itself as the home of boxing, or at least another option to Las Vegas. Since October 2023, Kingdom Arena in Riyadh has hosted Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin, Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk.

The Fury-Usyk rematch will also take place in Saudi Arabia in December.  Matchroom Boxing also announced that the upcoming Terence Crawford-Israil Madrimov super-welterweight title fight will take place in Los Angeles in August.

PIF has been investing in sports for a few years now. In 2020, PIF started the process to buy Newcastle United in the English Premier League. It took over a year, but PIF finally got their team. It has also tried to boost the profile of the Saudi Pro League.

Teams paid large sums of money to entice Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema, and others to join the league. PIF also established LIV Golf, and is currently in talks with the PGA Tour to invest there. That would smooth the path to the PGA Tour and LIV Golf coming together.

What Would This Mean for Boxing?

There will be accusations of sports washing. However, as far as boxing goes, this could be excellent for most sides. Having all the major promotions under one roof would, in theory, make it easier to put together considerable fights.

One major complaint that boxing fans have, is that the best fighters don’t always end up in the ring together, usually because of business disputes.

This would be a much simpler proposition if there was just one boxing organization. However, there are still plenty of factors to be worked out as al-Sheikh and his team look to unify boxing.

About the Author
Finn Archer profile picture
Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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