His Excellency Turki Alalshikh is a man on a mission to change the face of boxing, literally overnight. The urgency and vision is crystal clear, and there are good reasons for that urgency.
The 42-year-old Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority is driven to deliver incredible events for the much-hyped ‘Riyadh Season’. A concept which has delivered in spectacular fashion in the past few months.
Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou and that insane ‘Day of Reckoning’ card are already in the books, and in the next eight weeks we will get Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk for all of the heavyweight marbles, and then Anthony Joshua vs Ngannou.
The plan doesn’t end there – we have a Fury vs Usyk rematch to come and then the winner of those fights against the Joshua vs Ngannou winner (so potentially Fury vs Joshua at last). Oh, and a potential light-heavyweight unification pitting modern-day greats Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol.
Turki Alalshikh on health issues
Alalshikh, a keen boxing fan, is desperate to return the sport to its glory days where fighters could walk down a street and be recognised by everybody. A return to the halcyon days of the 1970s and 1980s.
His Excellency sat down with streaming platform DAZN for a wide-ranging interview this week, in which the GEA head revealed how his work ethic powers him forward, and why he personally has such a sense of urgency to deliver, and do it so quickly.
He revealed: “This is what we are doing, me and the team, with the support of the Crown Prince, God bless him. We don’t stop. I told my team yesterday, I see the calendar from the 4th of June until now – I don’t rest any day, even in the weekend. I work around 16 hours, and I check with them about their vacation.
“The average of their vacation is two or three times a year in this part of the year. I said to them ‘you take three or four vacation, I am not’. I like to work. I like it for my country and for the trust of my King and the trust of the Crown Prince for me.
“And I even have personal situation and reason. I have a lot of health issues in the last five years and this is making me want to do everything and to see it in my life.”
Alalshikh also explained why he and the GEA have been able to achieve so much, so quickly, in their quest to make boxing great again.
“I want to tell you, I don’t have the magic, I have something more powerful than the magic. Behind me there is two big mountain, you cannot see the end of the mountain. The King and the Crown Prince support what we are doing. We cannot do this without their support.”