Anthony Joshua’s return adds to Saudi Arabia’s sporting portfolio

Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia is scheduled for August 20.

Before that, the PA news agency will take a look at other contests being held in the country.

formula one

The first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix took place in December 2021 with a night race in Jeddah, featuring the sport’s fastest street circuit, and returned there in March, sparking even more controversy when a missile attack on an oil refinery was threatened. factory 10 miles from the highway. drivers’ strike. The event also took place against the backdrop of human rights concerns, as the country had carried out a mass execution of 81 men just a few days earlier.

Boxing

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Joshua has already fought in Saudi Arabia when he won the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world belts from Andy Ruiz at Diria Arena (Nick Potts/PA).

Joshua has fought in the country before. He regained the world heavyweight titles by defeating Andy Ruiz Jr. in the so-called “Battle of the Dunes” in Riyadh in December 2019. The long-awaited rematch follows Amir Khan’s international WBC Welterweight victory over Australian Billy Deeb in Jeddah in 2019.

Football

Two Italian Super Cup finals were held in Saudi Arabia. Juventus – thanks to a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo – beat AC Milan in Jeddah in January 2019 before losing 3-1 to Lazio in Riyadh later that year. Real Madrid have won two Spanish Super Cups in Jeddah, the first in 2020 when they beat Atlético Madrid and again this year when they beat Athletic Bilbao.

Golf

Established in 2019, Saudi International was the first European tour event to be hosted in the country. Rory McIlroy has ruled out the 2020 tournament, confirming that there was “morality” behind his decision. Northern Ireland compatriot Graeme McDowell won the competition, while Dustin Johnson won the inaugural staging and added another title in 2021. The controversial LIV golf series, funded by Saudi money, lands in Jeddah in October as the penultimate round. a series of eight events. Following this, the city will host the Aramco Team Series event, which was spawned by Saudi Arabia’s international women’s team in 2020.

Struggle

WWE has been hosting events in Saudi Arabia since 2018. So far, there have been seven visits, the second this year is scheduled for November. Joshua’s fellow heavyweight Tyson Fury appeared at the event in Saudi Arabia before he made his debut at the Crown Jewel event in October 2019, where he defeated Braun Strowman at the King Fahd International Stadium.

horse racing

The richest horse races in the world take place in Saudi Arabia. The $20 million (£15.2 million) Saudi Cup has been held for the past three years at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.

Motorsport

The last three stages of the Dakar Rally have been held in Saudi Arabia and its return is scheduled for 2023. Carlos Sainz, father of Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., won the 2020 motoring event with two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso finishing 13th. . For the past four years, Formula E has been racing on street circuits in Riyadh.

Snooker

In October 2020, Saudi Arabia was scheduled to host a ranking event for the first time as part of a 10-year partnership with World Snooker. But the first Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters in Riyadh, which was set to total £2.5 million including a £500,000 top prize, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.