Dubai still wants Alexander-Khan

August, 12, 2013
8/12/13
7:07
PM ET
Welterweight titlist Devon Alexander and Amir Khan are on the path to a Dec. 7 showdown, and one of the big questions about the fight, should it be finalized, is where will it take place?

[+] EnlargeKhan
AP Photo/Dave ThompsonIf Amir Khan challenges for Devon Alexander's welterweight title in Dubai, it could be a hyped local event and give boxing a new exotic fight destination.
Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer is keen to make the fight, as is Showtime, and both fighters have professed interest in it. So while everyone works to make a deal, the location of such a fight is significant because it could be in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Schaefer said there is interest in hosting Khan -- a devout Muslim -- in a world title bout.

Now, Dubai is thrown around a lot these days as a possible location for fights, but it's rarely anything other than a fantasy or red herring. However, Alexander-Khan is a real enough possibility that Schaefer flew there recently to meet with investors interested in bringing the fight there. Schaefer was pleased with what he saw.

"I met with the right people, they made all the presentations and they are very interested," Schaefer told ESPN.com. "Now it's a matter of evaluating if the financials make sense for them and for us. But when I was there I looked at potential venues, and if it does come through, it's going to be spectacular."

One of the issues, of course, is the television timing. Will the fight take place in Dubai prime time, which is eight hours ahead of the United States, or at a time conducive for a live Showtime telecast in prime time in the United States?

"There are different financials if it's on American time or Dubai time," Schaefer said. "But they are interested and their preference is Dubai time."

Whatever the time the card would take place, the deal, like almost everything in boxing, will come down to money.

"I have talked to [Alexander adviser] Al [Haymon] and [manager and trainer] Kevin [Cunningham] and they said if it's the right deal that Devon Alexander will pack his bags and travel," Schaefer said. "But if the money is the same in Dubai as in the U.S., then he feels as the champion that he doesn't need to travel to Dubai. I can appreciate and agree with his position. But if the money is right, he would go to Dubai, so we are discussing numbers."

Schaefer said the issue probably won't be resolved for a few weeks.

"But I really want to do that fight," he said, adding that he is also looking at other venues.

Schaefer said it is possible that the fight could take place in England, where Khan is from, or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Golden Boy is holding the arena for Dec. 7.

"I discussed going to the U.K. with Devon's team, and it comes down to the same thing -- if it means substantially more money for Devon, he has no problem going there," Schaefer said.

If the fight does wind up in Dubai, Schaefer said the group there would build a temporary facility at the base of the Burj Al Arab, a hotel that is one of the tallest buildings in the world.

"It's right in the middle of downtown Dubai, surrounded by an unbelievable skyline," Schaefer said. "It's one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. They could build a 20,000- or 30,000-seat venue. This fight would have a tremendous impact on Dubai."

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