Dubai can be 'fight capital of the world' claims boxing promoter

Dubai can be ‘fight capital of the world’ claims boxing promoter

“Dubai has the opportunity to become the fight capital of the world,” according to Richard Schaefer, president of the newly created boxing promotion outfit Probellum.

The company has just announced a historic world championship double-header at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai in December.

And Schaefer told Arabian Business it would be the first of many events held in the emirate, with up to 12 to be held annually from 2022.

He said: “Dubai has become the entertainment capital of the world. Before it was a badge of honour to be able to say that one fought or performed on the legendary Las Vegas Strip, but now that badge of honour is Dubai.

“I am convinced that boxing at the absolutely highest level will be in Dubai and I am convinced that Dubai has the opportunity to become the fight capital of the world.”

It is a similar sentiment originally shared by Ahmed Seddiqi, CEO of D4G Promotions and a board member of Probellum, who told Arabian Business in a recent interview that Dubai had the potential to become “the Vegas of the Middle East” for boxing.

Schaefer said: “Every time I am in Dubai it amazes me how the emirate has grown, how well everything works, how safe it is and how international it has become. It truly is a dream destination for tourists but as well for athletes and entertainers from around the world.”

December’s event, Probellum: Revolution, will see Sunny Edwards (16-0-4 knockouts) defend his IBF flyweight title against Jayson Mama (16-0-9 knockouts) and John Riel Casimero (31-4-21 knockouts) puts his WBO bantamweight title on the line against the UK’s Paul Butler (33-2-15 knockouts).

Schaefer said: “The entire GCC region is very important to Probellum. The public in the Gulf region has embraced combat sports. Sold out arenas for UFC events show that combat sports, of which boxing is one of them, have become must see and must attend events in this region.

“Visitors from around the world are making their way to this region, because they know that sporting events at the highest level are taking place here.”