They said it couldn’t be done.
Sworn enemies Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn have broken bread and agreed to put on a co-promotion that would see five boxers from each of their stables go up against each other in an historic “five-versus-five” fight night.
The deal was brokered by Turki Alalshikh, the chairman Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority.
This unique collaboration will take place during Riyadh Calendar and promises a thrilling experience for boxing fans worldwide.
“This type of agreement is what boxing fans have been waiting for, as the best champions worldwide are going to be a part of the five-versus-five fight night,” Alalshikh said.
“Riyadh Calendar is looking forward to hosting more exciting events. These unique partnerships promise boxing fans from around the globe more unforgettable sports events.”
The date and fight card will be announced at a press conference during the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou fight week in March.
The rivalry between Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Hearns’ Matchroom Boxing goes back years. The cold war showed no signs of thawing until Alalshikh stepped in. Last month both promoters had boxers on the massive ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23. It seemed that the penny finally dropped with them that there is more money to be made by working together in the current environment than by simply sticking to their own side of the street.
“We’ve always liked a challenge and this is a mouthwatering one,” Warren said. “I honestly think this is one of the most intriguing events you could think of in boxing. A proper event to find out whose stable is stronger.
“I’d like to thank His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, who is really changing the game, like we said right at the start. He’s injected a new energy into the sport.
“This Queensberry vs Matchroom fight night encapsulates all of the elements you want in an event as a promoter: rivalry, characters, history and competition. It’s time to settle the score, who’s getting the bragging rights?”
Hearn said: “For decades it has been the Hearns versus the Warrens, Matchroom versus Queensberry. It is without doubt the most storied rivalry in the sport. Now, thanks to the unrivalled vision of His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, fight fans witnessed a handshake that broke the internet – and now they will see the world’s leading promoters going hammer and tong to settle a score for the ages.
“It’s the best against the best and this unprecedented night of boxing in Riyadh will live long in the memory.”
Alalshikh has quickly emerged as the most powerful person in boxing. With seemingly unlimited funds, he has proven able to bring together warring factions and make some of the biggest fights in the sport.