Five years on from the failed negotiations for an undisputed clash between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder and the long-awaited heavyweight showdown is once again struggling.
Over the summer, some boxing fans believed that they would be treated to a one-of-a-kind heavyweight spectacle that would seen Tyson Fury battle Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title as well as the culmination of the rivalry between former champions, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
That dream quickly diminished. ‘The Gypsy King’ instead opted to face Francis Ngannou at the end of October, all-but ruling him out of a December outing and shared his reluctance to face Usyk for anything other than a mammoth payday.
Meanwhile, Joshua-Wilder was pushed back to January, and fans still had faith in at least one mega heavyweight clash in the near future. A shift in the boxing landscape in Saudi Arabia has set those talks back once again. The terms that were once agreed, with the organisation that put them forward, are now off the table.
Eddie Hearn told iFL TV that there is another potential site that could stage the fight in early 2024.
“That was supposed to happen in January, we accepted the offer.”
“We know it’s not materialised now. Because it was made by someone who couldn’t deliver the fight at that time.”
“We’d agreed, Wilder had agreed, now we’re talking to other sites about that fight in February or March and that’s still the plan, very much the plan.”
Once again, boxing fans around the world have been taught a harsh lesson, to not to get their hopes up until the two superstars are in the ring.
Although, the silver lining of the failures to make the Wilder fight is that Joshua could box for a third time this year in December, with plenty of suitors eyeing up the challenge.