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Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor ringside at Joshua v Wallin fight in Saudi Arabia

The football superstar moved to the Saudi Pro League this year and has spent time with the UFC icon before

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 23 December 2023 20:36 GMT
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Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin face off in Riyadh ahead of fight

Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor are ringside at the Day of Reckoning boxing event in Saudi Arabia, where Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are set to fight this evening.

Joshua is scheduled to box Otto Wallin in the main event at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena, after Wilder’s bout with Joseph Parker.

The undercard was already well under way and had seen numerous finishes when Ronaldo arrived and sat in the front row – next to Turki Al-Sheikh, the Saudi adviser behind the Day of Reckoning event and the state’s drive to stage the biggest fights possible. McGregor arrived later, with his name having been misspelt as “Connor” on his seat.

UFC icon McGregor and football star Ronaldo, who moved to Saudi Pro League team Al Nassr in January, were also ringside in October, when heavyweight champion Tyson Fury boxed ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Riyadh. Briton Fury narrowly outpointed the mixed martial artist that evening, having suffered a knockdown by the Cameroonian, and is set to return to Riyadh in February for a clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

In moving to Al Nassr, Portugal forward Ronaldo ended his second spell at Manchester United. The transfer may yet be the final one in the 38-year-old’s career, after stints at Real Madrid, Juventus and Sporting CP brought numerous individual awards and team trophies.

Ronaldo arrived at Kingdom Arena just in time for Daniel Dubois’s slugfest with Jarell Miller, which Dubois won via TKO with approximately 10 seconds left in the final round. McGregor then arrived before Dmitry Bivol’s light-heavyweight title defence against Lyndon Arthur.

Joshua’s fight with Wallin will be his third in Saudi Arabia, after the former world champion outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 but lost a decision to Usyk in 2022.

Wilder, meanwhile, will compete for the first time in 14 months, as the former champion takes on Parker – a teammate of Wilder’s old rival Fury. Wilder’s last bout came against Robert Helenius, whom the American knocked out in Round 1.

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