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World Boxing Super Series finale heads to Jeddah

The World Boxing Super Series will stage the inaugural edition of its cruiserweight final in Jeddah, under a deal struck with the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA).
 
GSA agreed the partnership today (Tuesday) with WBSS organiser and owner, Comosa. The final will be held in Jeddah in May.
 
The first fights of the debut WBSS season took place in September and three of the four quarterfinals in the cruiserweight division have already taken place. Olympic gold medallist and current WBO world champion Aleksandr Usyk kicked off the cruiserweight tournament by stopping Marco Huck in the 10th round in Berlin.
 
WBA world champion Yunier Dorticos then defeated No.1 ranked Dmitry Kudryashov with a second round knockout in the US city of San Antonio. Finally, hometown hero Mairis Briedis outpointed Cuba’s Mike Peres in Riga, Latvia to retain his WBC world title belt and set up a semi-final clash with Usyk. 
 
Russia’s IBF world champion Murat Gassiev will next face Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Newark, New Jersey next weekend, with the winner to face Dorticos. The WBSS said the venues of both semi-finals, which are expected to take place in the second half of January next year, will be announced in due course.
 
Commenting on the deal, Turki Al-Alsheikh, president of the Saudi General Sports Authority, said: “This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia. Having the first final of such a high profile and groundbreaking tournament take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is a key milestone for us, and will be one of many major sports events to take place in the Kingdom starting next year.
 
“The interest in boxing amongst youth is there and is growing rapidly, which is why GSA is also working with forming a grassroots partnership with one of the largest international boxing federations to promote the sport. Our involvement in the Muhammad Ali trophy is the perfect way to step up our engagement in boxing, given how popular and well respected this great sporting athlete has always been.”
 
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s chief boxing officer, added: “We will also feature local fighters on the undercard and help promote the sport locally. The Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered in the Middle East and Africa, and Ali himself fought his greatest battles (‘The Thriller in Manila’ and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) in locations not normally associated with boxing, so it is fitting to bring big time boxing to Jeddah in the name of the Greatest of All Time.”