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David Haye's Controversial Saudi Boxing Claim Sparks Fan Backlash"

David Haye has stirred up a storm in the boxing world with his bold assertion that Saudi Arabia is the new epicenter of the sport. The former champion, known for his candid opinions, stated in a social media video that boxing’s future hinges on Saudi deals, prompting a heated response from fans.

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, among other boxing stars, have recently taken their fights to Saudi Arabia, thanks to lucrative offers from Saudi officials. Turki Alalshikh’s involvement, negotiating deals with prominent promoters like Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, has reshaped the boxing landscape.

In Haye’s video, he labeled Saudi Arabia as the “saviour” of boxing, claiming that major fights can only happen there due to economic realities and changing fan dynamics. The upcoming clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, originally scheduled for February 17, was postponed and is now set for May 18 in Saudi Arabia.

While ‘AJ’ is also slated to fight in Saudi Arabia against Francis Ngannou on March 8, Haye’s remarks have triggered a strong reaction on social media. Fans expressed disappointment, labeling his claims as “absolute garbage” and emphasizing the importance of fan engagement in the sport.

One fan on social media criticized, “Talking absolute bollocks tbh. They’re there purely for the payday and Saudi sportswashing. Once the bubble bursts, they’ll be begging back for Wembley. Sport is nothing without the fans, David.”

Another questioned, “So if Saudi didn’t exist, the boxers would just do bricklaying or something?”

Critics argued that boxing in Saudi Arabia lacks the energy of a live audience, with fights scheduled at inconvenient times. Some attributed the choice of venue to greed rather than the best interests of the sport.

Despite the controversy, Saudi Arabia continues to secure major boxing events, including the undisputed light-heavyweight clash between Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev. As Alalshikh and his team forge ahead into 2024, the debate over the impact of Saudi Arabia on the boxing world shows no signs of slowing down.

Relevant Hashtags: #BoxingDebate #HayeControversy #SaudiBoxing #FanOpinions #TysonFury #AnthonyJoshua

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