Amir Khan to appear during Jeddah Season

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Amir Khan’s appearance will be one of the highlights during the Jeddah Season festival. (AFP)
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Amir Khan’s appearance will be one of the highlights during the Jeddah Season festival. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 26 June 2019

Amir Khan to appear during Jeddah Season

  • The Fight Night will be the culmination of a special “Boxing Week” organized by the World Boxing Council in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Amir Khan, the two-time world boxing champion, is set to appear for a one-off Fight Night event at King Abdullah Sports City Arena, on July 20 as part of the Jeddah Season festival.

The Fight Night will be the culmination of a special “Boxing Week” organized by the World Boxing Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It will feature appearances by Khan and others at a number of gyms across the region, including Fitness Time Gym, where they will engage in sparring demonstrations, open training sessions and meet and greets.

Saudi celebrities Qusai Kheder and Badr Al-Zaidan are also slated to attend.

Tickets for the Fight Night itself will be sold at Virgin Megastores and via the sharek.sa platform, as well as through Jeddah Season’s official website Jeddah.sa.

Raed Abu Zinada, the general manager of Jeddah Season, said: “Our aim is to organize activities that will enrich the lives of the community, as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to contribute to the arts, culture, sports and entertainment.

“The city of Jeddah is characterized by a rich cultural diversity, an extended historical heritage, and a strategic location on the Red Sea coast, making it a cultural hub.”

Boxing has become a major attraction in the Kingdom in the wake of the country’s success in various foreign tournaments by its male and female boxers.

Jeddah Season is one of a range of Saudi cultural festivals to be held across the country this year, established as part of the Quality of Life Program, a key component of Vision 2030.


World No. 1 Brooks Koepka in defiant mood ahead of return to Saudi International at KAEC

Updated 22 min 53 sec ago

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka in defiant mood ahead of return to Saudi International at KAEC

  • Saudi International is returning to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) next week
  • Second edition of the tournament, which is part of the European Tour

JEDDAH: The Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers is returning to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) next week from Jan. 30 — Feb. 2.

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka shared his thoughts about his chances ahead of the European Tour event at Royal Greens & Country Club.

Q. You’re currently on the verge of breaking into the top 10 players to have spent longest at world #1. What does that mean to you and are records something you’re driven by?
Brooks Koepka: It’s great to be world number one, and I want to stay there but being number one is really a by-product of playing well, which is my first aim. There are lots of other world-class golfers playing well at the moment and this week is a good chance to win some valuable points to keep me at the top.

Q. Your often-discussed record in majors proves that you are a golfer who can play arguably his best golf under the greatest of pressures. Where do you think this coolness on the big stage comes from?
BK: I think it’s just because I am very competitive, and I love to win. No athlete plays a sport just to take part: everyone wants to win. That drives me to play my best golf when it really matters. I also work hard off the course so that I am as prepared as I can be when I get into the heat of competition.

Q. The Saudi International marks your second tournament back from injury (knee). How are you feeling heading into it?
BK: I’m feeling really good. It’s going to be my second tournament since October, so I am excited to get back on the course and compete against some of the world’s best players. It’s never a good thing being injured but I’ve come back from injury well before. In some ways it gives you a chance to recharge and start the new year fresh.

Q. Does an injury like the one you’ve experienced change your mindset when you return?
BK: I’m playing to win. Once I’m on the course, I forget everything else and just play golf. I didn’t play my best golf here last year so I’m ready for a strong finish in Saudi.

Q. How important is it for golf to be coming to Saudi Arabia and bringing the game into a new market?
BK: It’s great to see the game growing worldwide and having played in Saudi Arabia last year, I know the positive effect the tournament had on the country.

Q. What do you hope to learn from Saudi Arabia during your time competing and how excited are you about playing in the tournament?
BK: I am really looking forward to playing at Royal Greens again as I thought the layout was really impressive. I hope my experience playing in this event last year will allow me to contend for this year’s title.

Q. More young people in Saudi Arabia are watching sport or taking up sport. What would you say to encourage them to take up golf and what can they learn from the sport?
BK:
It’s great to see so many young people wanting to get into the game. If you enjoy watching it, you will certainly love playing it.

Q. What’s the ambition for 2020 after such strong seasons in 2018 and 2019?
BK:
Right now, I just want to get back playing. I’m looking forward to a strong season and being in contention in all of the tournaments I play in, which come September will put me in a strong position for the Ryder Cup. As far as I am concerned, the Saudi International is the most important tournament in front of me right now.

Q. Many people in Saudi Arabia will not have attended a golf championship. What can they expect, and what do fans get from watching the golf live and up close that is just impossible to experience through the TV?
BK:
I think coming to a golf event is the best way to watch the game. You are part of the event, you can see exactly what the players are going through at any point. You can also follow your favorite golfers around the course all day, which sometimes the TV doesn’t do depending on who you want to follow.