Anthony Joshua looks set to deliver on his promise to fight three times this year as an announcement for a mega-card in Saudi Arabia on December 23 looms.
The Brit has bounced back from losses to Oleksandr Usyk with two wins this year – a unanimous decision over Jermaine Franklin and a knockout of Robert Helenius.
Following those, he was expected to fight a fellow former champion in Deontay Wilder, but that has been delayed and both look set to fight once before their talks can resume.
Somewhat surprisingly, that is now expected to happen on the same night. December 23 was pencilled in for Tyson Fury’s undisputed fight with Usyk, but, with it pushed back until February, the boxing businessmen in Saudi Arabia have gathered other heavyweights to take their place.
Joshua is tipped to headline the card, and the talks were confirmed when he was pictured this week with promoter, Eddie Hearn, and Turki Alalshikh, the Chairman of General Authority for Entertainment in the nation and the man behind Fury’s fight with Francis Ngannou and Usyk.
Looks like Otto Wallin is heading to the rumoured press conference for this huge card on Dec 23‼️🥊 pic.twitter.com/I68a2U12rz
— LondonRunzBoxing (@LondonRunz) November 14, 2023
As for his opponent, Swedish southpaw and former Fury foe, Otto Wallin, is expected.
The 32-year-old posted a picture of himself travelling, leading fans to take it as a confirmation he will be announcing the ‘AJ’ fight at a press conference this Wednesday.
Whilst he could be a tough test for Joshua, it’s a smart move in terms of rankings. Wallin – who recently beat Murat Gassiev – is currently number two with the IBF, Joshua number three.
The battle for Wallin’s position is an important one because, as per the sanctioning body, the winner of Fury-Usyk must face mandatory challenger, Filip Hrgovic.
With that unlikely to happen due to a contractual rematch clause, the winner will be stripped and Hrgovic is expected to fight for the vacant belt against the next available contender.