Jeddah - Saudi Arabia will host the first World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight final in May next year as well as its first-ever international motorsport event, featuring stars from Formula One, World Rally Championship, IndyCar, NASCAR, sportscars and touring cars competing against each other.
President of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority Turki Al-Sheikh signed agreements with organizers during a trip to London this week.
"This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia," Al-Sheikh said.
Saudi capital Riyadh will host Race of Champions early next year, becoming the 10th different country to host the event.
The Red Sea city of Jeddah will organize in May World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final.
The two-day racing competition will take place at the 75,000-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.
"Our organization is honored to be working with the President of the General Sports Authority, Turki Al-Sheikh, to bring Race of Champions to the region for the first time in the event’s 30-year history," Race of Champions President Fredrik Johnsson was quoted as saying.
"As motorsport’s most forward-thinking property, ROC is an event perfectly suited to Saudi Arabia, which is emerging as a modern sports market on the global stage," he added.
"With women able to drive in Saudi Arabia from 2018, we feel this is an auspicious moment to be bringing a motorsport event to Riyadh. Race Of Champions is more than just a race: it is a truly global contest that includes many of the world’s best drivers along with top-quality entertainment for families," Johnsson said.
In a related development, World Boxing Super Series organizers announced on Tuesday that the May final of the eight-man tournament, which includes four of the major world titleholders, will take place in Jeddah.
The announcement followed an agreement signed in London between World Boxing Super Series organizer and owner Comosa AG and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.
"This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia," said President of the General Sports Authority Turki Al-Sheikh.
"Having the first final of such a high-profile and groundbreaking tournament take place in Saudi Arabia is a key milestone for us. The interest in boxing among the young generation is there and growing rapidly, which is why the GSA is also working to form a grass-roots partnership with one of the largest international boxing federations to promote the sport," he said.
"This is fantastic news, not just for World Boxing Super Series but for boxing and for the sport in Saudi Arabia," said Comosa AG CEO Roberto Dalmiglio.
"I am sure that Saudi Arabia will lay on a fitting finale to the first year of the WBSS and first award of the Muhammad Ali Trophy. We are proud to be working with the Saudi General Sports Authority on what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2018 sporting calendar in Jeddah," he added.
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