Derek Chisora has revealed that he is the ‘face of boxing for Saudi Arabia’. The British boxing icon will represent Prince Khalid’s event management company Skill Challenge in helping grow the sport in the Middle East with his first assignment being Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury.
The pair are set to square off on February 26 over in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh and came face to face last weekend in London to promote their fight. Chisora was also in attendance and helped regulate the face-to-face, leading many fans to speculate whether Del Boy was directly involved in the grudge match.
Chisora has now come out and confirmed that he is working as a ‘mouthpiece’ for the show. “I am the face of boxing for Saudi Arabia and Skill Challenge, it is happening,” he told iFL TV.
“Saudi Arabia has bigger plans and I want to be involved in it because what Prince Khalid has got coming to Saudi Arabia is so many things, they’ve got F1, boxing, and golf so it’s just going to get better and better. I am the mouthpiece [for Skill Challenge], I’m going to sell the fights hard.”
But the oil-rich nation’s practices have been called into question by multiple human rights groups who define the recent push as “sports washing,” the practice of investing or hosting sporting events in a bid to obscure a country’s poor human rights record, and to reinvent itself as a powerhouse for tourism and events.
“Vision 2030 has set the creation of professional sports and a sports industry as one of its goals. That will not only potentially provide employment for thousands of Saudis but it will also improve the quality of life for everyone living in the kingdom,” Fahad Nazer, spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington told The Guardian.
He added: “The kingdom is proud to host and support various athletic and sporting events which not only introduce Saudis to new sports and renowned international athletes but also showcase the kingdom’s landmarks and the welcoming nature of its people to the world.”