By Shane McGinley
Plans for December event included building a temporary venue at the base of Burj Khalifa
Plans to stage a
major boxing match in Dubai this December after British champion Amir Khan said
his American rival Devon Alexander was reluctant to sign on the dotted line, it
Earlier this summer boxing
organisers revealed they were in talks with the Dubai government to stage a
match between Khan and Alexander on December 7 and were planning to travel to
the emirate in July to scout for potential venues
“We have opened
discussions with the ruling family of the Emirates who have made it very clear
that they are keen to put on a major boxing event,” Richard Schaefer, chief
executive of organisers Golden Boy, told the Daily Mail.
Schaefer said 26-year-old Khan, who is Muslim, was eager to bring the sport of boxing to the
Middle East, but Alexander’s reluctance to sign put puts the plans in jeopardy.
“I am ready 100 percent
to fight Devon Alexander in Dubai,” Khan told the Daily Mail this week. “But it
seems [Alexander] and his team are coming up with excuses every other day and
they have not agreed to the fight.
“I do have a lot of
fans in the Middle East and especially in the UAE. Maybe he does feel that
everyone will be against him if we fight in Dubai. But I can assure it will be
a fair fight, obviously. If it happens, it will be a global event.
“They are doing big
things in Dubai and UAE and it will be beneficial for all … if we fight in
tardiness and Khan’s concerns, organisers are still hopeful the December 7
fight in Dubai will go ahead.
"I met with the
right people, they made all the presentations and they are very
interested," Schaefer told ESPN.com. "Now it's a matter of evaluating
if the financials make sense for them and for us. But when I was there I looked
at potential venues, and if it does come through, it's going to be
If the fight does go
ahead in Dubai, Schaefer said it was likely they would build a temporary
facility at the base of the Burj Khalifa.
"It's right in
the middle of downtown Dubai, surrounded by an unbelievable skyline," he said.
"It's one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. They could
build a 20,000- or 30,000-seat venue. This fight would have a tremendous impact
Mike Tyson previously
attempted to set up a match in Dubai three years ago but talks also stalled at
the last minute.
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If they go ahead with it filling 20 to 30k wont be a problem tickets will sell like hot cakes there is a large Pakistani community in Middle East who will come to watch Khan and nearest Pakistani city is 90 mins flight away if they can get a airline to sponsor that will be a icing on the cake.