Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter will appear on the undercard when Anthony Joshua faces Francis Ngannou for the interim WBO Heavyweight championship in Riyad on March 8.
The two men, who have been embroiled in a war of words since O’Sullivan beat Carter in last weekend’s Masters final, will have a one frame, winner takes all shoot-out, to settle their differences once and for all.
Joint promoter and Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn told Paddy Power News, that he had no reservations putting on the big showdown:
“As soon as Ronnie went back to his hotel after winning the Masters and found that all his cues had been sawn in half, accusations started flying, so I knew I could get this bout on.
“I contacted O’Sullivan immediately, explained my idea and he told me to “Make it happen!”
“Ali Carter’s people denied any responsibility for the incident, claiming that their guy spent Sunday night wiping gob off the bottom of his shoes. After hearing these accusations, they were also keen to get in the ring and we are delighted to have got the contracts signed so quickly.”
Both players will now go into an intensive training camp before the weigh-in on March 7. O’Sullivan has already been spotted at a gym in Bethnal Green, sparring with John Higgins.
Carter on the other hand, has decided to do some warm weather training in Tenerife, to get acclimatised to the heat they will both face in the desert.
— No Context Hearn (@NoContextHearn) October 15, 2020
Because the Saudi showdown will be outside the remit of World Snooker, the rules will be changed to create more jeopardy.
A spokesperson for Matchroom Sport explained that:
“Anything goes here. Both players have been encouraged to put off their opponent as much as possible, but they will not be allowed to throw chalk whilst a shot is being played.
“Bodychecking is permitted and as these two have previous here, we feel that this is where the contest could be won and lost.
“The one thing we have had to draw the line at however, is ‘snotting’. A bucket will be provided to ensure that the canvas is not too slippery for the main event.
Hearn feels that O’Sullivan-Carter could change the face of snooker forever.
“DAZN PPV are hoping that both men put on a great show. If they do, then a similar format could become a regular event.
“We are hoping for a more violent version of Big Break.”
*Paddy Power’s breaking news coverage is pure fantasy – don’t believe it for a second
- ITV plan to make drama about Everton FFP charges
- Henderson confirms work in Saudi Arabia done in just 6 months
- Spurs target Timo Werner says he’ll “bounce back” after missing flight to London
- Exclusive – Masters Snooker finalists to wear mankinis
- Premier League Sack Race: Which manager’s favourite to get the boot?