Turki Alalshikh responds to critics of Fury vs Usyk undercard – NO ‘CLOWN’ FIGHTS

Turki Alalshikh has responded to critics of the undercard for the massive Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight unification showdown.

Fury (34-0-1) and Usyk (21-0) are the sport’s two current heavyweight kings, and on May 18 in Riyadh they will battle to become the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield back in 1999.

Turki Alashikh is the man behind the show as the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority. Big fights are coming thick and fast courtesy of that massive investment into the sport.

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But it seems you just can’t please some people, with some media outlets posting articles containing apparent criticism from some fans of the undercard – which was announced last week.

His Excellency tagged one in particular – from publisher SPORTbible – as he responded on social media.

He said: “A powerful card for all boxing fans, featuring a minimum of 3 to 4 fights that could easily be main events. Anyone searching for lower quality or bizarre “clown” fights should look elsewhere. We are committed to delivering exceptional cards for boxing fans!”

Turki Alalshikh Saudi General Entertainment Authority Boxing Riyadh Season
His Excellency Turki Alalshikh of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority speaks at the press conference to announce the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou heavyweight boxing fight in Riyadh on March 8 (Photo – Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing).

That response was also followed up by Fury’s promoter Frank Warren, who backed Turki Alalshikh and described any critics of the undercard as either having an agenda or “complete imbeciles”.

Fury vs Usyk undercard fights

So who is actually fighting on the Fury vs undercard? Here are the key details:

Undefeated Australian Jai Opetaia takes on three-time cruiserweight world champion Mairis Briedis for the IBF world championship and Ring Magazine belt in a rematch of their exhilarating July 2022 encounter when Opetaia claimed the belts by overcoming the celebrated Latvian fighter.

Undefeated Welsh Olympian Joe Cordina will defend his IBF world super featherweight championship against IBO title holder, Northern Irishman Anthony Cacare.

The heavyweight theme is bolstered by the unbeaten German star Agit Kabayel going up against unbeaten Cuban Frank Sanchez as both return to Riyadh following their knockout victories on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in December in a WBC Final Eliminator.

Arslanbek Makhmudov vs Agit Kabayel Results Day of Reckoning Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Agit Kabayel lands against Arslanbek Makhmudov en route to a fourth-round stoppage victory in their heavyweight bout on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Saudi Arabia (Photo – Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing).

UK lightweight sensation Mark Chamberlain will also be heading back to The Kingdom after proving to be a major hit on his opening night in Riyadh. The big punching 25-year-old featured at ‘Knockout Chaos’ in March and will now face the dangerous Nigerian Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab.

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In another significant attraction, Sergey Kovalev – the former long-standing light heavyweight world champion – will go up against the undefeated Robin Sirwan Safar at cruiserweight.

Formidable young heavyweight star Moses Itauma, the World Amateur champion, who is tipped to become the future face of boxing’s marquee division, takes on Ilja Mezencev in his ninth fight in the professional ranks at the age of just 19.

New Zealand Olympian David Nyika faces Michael Seitz at cruiserweight and English featherweight Isaac Lowe is matched with Hasibullah Ahmadi.