A December date for the fan-friendly heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder has been pushed back to next year – that’s if it happens at all.
Joshua and Wilder were in talks for an undisputed heavyweight title fight a few years ago but failed to reach an agreement and eventually lost their respective belts to other competitors – namely Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.
This year, fans have been promised that the match-up will finally take place in Saudi Arabia with no belts on the line but reputations, pride and perhaps careers well and truly at stake.
In an interview with Boxing Social, Matchroom Promoter, Eddie Hearn, explained that the deal to fight Wilder hangs on Joshua’s performance against Dillian Whyte on August 12.
“Definitely, the finalisation of the Wilder fight is on hold until they [The Saudis] see what happen on August 12th and that’s the risk that we’re in.
It’s a big risk [facing Whyte], is it the right risk? We’ll find out, AJ wanted a real fight, he wasn’t motivated to take a lesser, smaller fight, but the Wilder fight will be dependent on victory at the O2 Arena on August 12th.”
Hearn went on to admit that January 2024 is a more realistic possibility than a bout with Wilder in 2023, and revealed his doubts towards suggestions that an undisputed title fight between Fury and Usyk could appear on the same card.
“I think it will be January, I’m not sure whether Fury-Usyk will get made.
Joshua will rematch Dillian Whyte next month, with the event available to watch live on DAZN pay-per-view.