Worldwide speculation has spread like wildfire that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is behind an ambitious bid to take the reins of boxing, creating a league and either working with or buying out promoters, following a report in the New York Times.

There is no official comment from anyone involved, but lucrative the Saudi Arabian participation in the sport has many licking their lips in anticipation, whether they’re journalists, boxers or promoters.

While it is understood the focus is the heavier weight classes, fighters around the world have had their heads turned by what they have seen with the Riyadh Season events and the mind-boggling sums on offer.

Top Rank’s Teofimo Lopez boxes Steve Claggett in Florida on June 29, and he’s heard all about Turki Alalshikh and he’s also heard the speculation about a possible league and restructuring of the sport Alalshikh labelled recently as “broken.” 

“You know, I’ve been hearing a lot of rumors,” said Lopez. “Turki, His Excellency, is obviously somebody who loves boxing, you can tell he’s into it in the combat world, now he has the UFC that’s intertwined with Dana White, so that’s a great look at it.

“Before I even discovered him [Alalshikh], he was following me on all of my social media platforms, so I obviously know he has an eye for fighters like myself and I know he has a vision of where he would like to take it with the takeover. That’s just over time. I think even after this fight, we will see where that goes.”

Lopez did not make it clear whether he was referring to the Saudi Arabian takeover, or his own ring nickname, “The Takeover.”

“But I’m not gonna say that I’m looking forward or I’m money hungry to go there in this time. I’m gonna say that I’m just tryin’ to do my job as a fighter, as a world champion and as a class act and as the people’s champ.”

Lopez has made it clear that one of his ambitions is to box at The Sphere in Las Vegas. He is keen to be the first boxer to top the bill there and wants to break new ground.

“I would. I mean Dana White and the UFC are talking about it,” Lopez added. “They’re putting a lot of money into it. That’s a world-renowned event right there. That’s something different. This is something I’ve been talking about. I’d definitely like to do. I wish I would have had the funds like Turk, I would have had that fight happen. 

“Sadly, I don’t have the funds like that but the ideas are there and I believe the ideas end up becoming my reality eventually. Yes, I do see myself fighting at the Madison Square Garden Sphere.”