Dubai Could Become Boxing Capital of the World
When a huge world title fight takes place in boxing, it is usually hosted in America.
For many years, Las Vegas and New York have been considered the home of boxing, with America being the fight capital of the world. All of that could be about to change, according to Richard Schaefer. He’s the president of a new promotion, Probellum, and he believes that Dubai could become the premier location for the world’s biggest fights.
“I believe Dubai has a real opportunity to become the fight capital of the world, and we want to be a part of that,” he told The National as he hyped his company’s first fight. “We want to bring world championship fights to Dubai and continue to help build tourism in the city.”
Probellum is looking to operate a little differently in the fight world, encouraging fighters from across the globe to meet each other in only the best fights. Schaefer explains that some promotions have worked in narrow areas in the past, something he feels is no longer the blueprint for success in the evolving world.
“Traditionally, boxing promotion companies have focused on one market, and maybe once in a while they’ve staged a fight outside of that market. It’s a bit different to a traditional boxing promotion company as we have a global focus and we want to give fighters from around the world an opportunity to test themselves in the biggest fights, and in the biggest markets.”
Expanding on the point, he claims many different promoters are willing to work with him, and his promotion to ensure Dubai establishes itself as the premier location for top-level bouts anywhere in the world.
“We don’t have a problem if we work with a fighter who is linked to Al Haymon’s [Premier Boxing Champions], Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, Frank Warren’s Queensbury – we’re open to working with everybody. These are not just words, this is our mandate, and we want to show our fighters that we are willing, able and capable of opening these doors.”
That could mean exciting, top-level fights between the biggest names on the planet right here in Dubai. For instance, Tyson Fury is yet to find out his next opponent, but it could be Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk. Both fights would come with massive attendances and pay-per-view buys, with the Gypsy King tipped as the favourite for both in the latest Ladbrokes boxing odds. Could he be victorious here in Dubai? Eddie Hearn is reported to have been in Dubai this month discussing the possibility of bringing a fight here. Fury also revealed he was once offered the chance to fight Wladimir Klitschko on a private yacht in front of just 120 people.
Dubai has already led the way in some respects, hosting the first-ever crypto-only boxing bout earlier this year. That event was described as an influencer combat event by Open Business Council and was widely considered a success. Influencers entering fights is a new trend gaining popularity, thanks to YouTube star Jake Paul, who recently defeated Tyron Woodley. That might be another direction the Probellum promotion looks to go as it establishes Dubai as a boxing location.
“We believe in Dubai and the wider region,” he concluded. “We want to bring the biggest and best fights to the region. I believe Dubai has the opportunity to become the fight capital of the world, and we are going to bring several events to Dubai next year.”
Keep an eye out for developments by paying regular visits to our sports section here on Day of Dubai.