Richard Schaefer himself isn't counting out Dubai (officially), but he says that he has the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on hold for December 7 for a fight between IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander and Amir Khan. The Nets are on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks that night, and the venue has nothing else booked for the date.
Here's what Schaefer told BoxingScene.com, including shooting down the rumors that Khan may be looking for work with another promoter, in particular Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing:
"First of all, Amir is under contract with Golden Boy. We would like to do a fight between him and Devon Alexander. It's a fight he wants. It's a fight Devon wants. It's a fight that I've been evaluating for Dubai. ... Devon Alexander will fight Amir Khan anywhere, as long as he gets paid. If he's going to get paid the same amount of money for Dubai, as he would for fighting in the United States, then of course it goes without saying and rightfully so - why would he want to fight anywhere but the United States? ... We have to wait on Dubai. I'll know one way or another in a couple of weeks. I had productive meetings and I was talking with the right people in Dubai. Alternatively there is interest in the UK [to stage the fight] and again it comes down to money. This fight can go to the UK as well. We are also holding the Barclays Center on December 7th, so that's another possibility."
While there's no obvious answer here, three things seem likely to me:
- The fight isn't going to happen in Dubai. If it was, it seems like it would be done by now. I could definitely be wrong and they might surprise me with an announcement soon, and that would be great if it gets done and everyone makes big money, but reading between the lines, it sounds like the offer to do it in Dubai isn't really going to be some spectacular blowaway deal where princes are paying in buckets of gold to bring Devon Alexander and Amir Khan to town. Like Schaefer says, if Devon can make the same money to fight in Brooklyn that he could to fight in Dubai, of course he's not going to Dubai. This wasn't his team's idea and they've never sounded especially interested in doing it.
- That goes for the UK, too. While the fight would make a lot of sense there, Alexander would need the right money to travel. That right money might not be in this fight.
- It's going to happen at the Barclays Center.