RIYADH, September 28 (CIC) – The eyes of the international boxing world will turn to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday night when George Groves defends his World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight title against challenger Callum Smith, who is participating in his first title fight ever. The pugilists will meet in the ring at Al-Jawhara Stadium in King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah with the winner taking home the Muhammad Ali Trophy and $10 million.
Friday’s match-ups mark the first time a professional boxing match has been held in Saudi Arabia.
The super-middleweight title fight will follow the undercard bout that pits Saudi boxer Zuhary Al Qahtani, 29, against the powerful Georgian puncher, Giorgi Gviniashvili. The preliminary bout marks the first time for a Saudi boxer to fight in the Kingdom.
This milestone event comes on the heels of an agreement signed in London between World Boxing Super Series organiser and owner, Comosa AG, and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.
“It’s a great feeling to be here in Jeddah and to be a part of the title bout,” super-middleweight title-holder Groves said. “I worked hard to reach it and I hope to win it.
“I consider this an historic moment in my career,” he continued. “I will be in full focus to win this fight. I have fully prepared myself. I overcame my last injury and did recovery for the shoulder area and I am now fully ready for the fight.”
At a press conference last week, Kalle Sauerland, the Chief Boxing Officer, expressed his gratitude to the General Sports Authority for organising the Jeddah event. “We are glad that the final is being hosted here for the first, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We have been greeted with a hearty welcome and great hospitality, in addition to the great facilities. I also welcome the presence of the late Muhammad Ali´s daughter, Rasheda Ali, and the American boxing legend, Evander Holyfield”.
Other celebrity attendees include Nasim Hamid and British boxer Chris Eubank.