Former heavyweights champions, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are in talks over the possibility of sharing the same fight card in Saudi Arabia on December 23.
Initially, the headlining bout was slated to be the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk undisputed match, but that had to be shifted following Fury’s encounter with former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou.
Organisers are now fervently working towards finalising a deal with Joshua and Wilder for separate opponents. This is in preparation for an epic Joshua vs. Wilder showdown in 2024.
However, the prospect of them featuring on the same card as Usyk vs. Fury appears to be unlikely for now as it depends on how early in the year Usyk and Fury agree to fight. There are talks that the fight could take place as early as February 2024, but with the way recent events have played out, one would not be surprised if it is shifted towards the middle or ending of the year, that is, if it happens at all.
The recent talks has so many interested parties involved, including Matchroom Boxing, representing Anthony Joshua, and Premier Boxing, representing Deontay Wilder. A leading figure from Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority is spearheading the talks, alongside Queensberry Promotions. The involvement of these many parties is a sign that plans could fall through, and we would get the fight.
While Joshua and Wilder are currently being discussed for separate fights now, the main focus is on the two meeting in the ring next year.
This recent discussion also underpins the growing influence of Saudi Arabia, particularly Turki Alalshikh’s role, in shaping the landscape of international boxing events.
And this is not the first time it is happening. In the past, we have seen different boxing matches held in the region. But a card with two heavyweight greats like Wilder and Joshua on the same night is quite the deal and a night that is worth looking forward to.