Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder return to action on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Many fans were disappointed to hear that the two former champions would be in separate fights, but the mega event – coordinated by Riyadh Season and with contribution from most major promoters – has sought to make up for that with a stacked card…
Anthony Joshua-Otto Wallin
Joshua looks to make it three for three this year against Swedish southpaw, Otto Wallin. Wallin took Tyson Fury the distance back in 2019 and has built back with six wins. The currently ranked IBF number two could provide a stern test for ‘AJ’ but, if he passes, a statement win would end his 2023 on a high. He’s expected to fight Wilder in the first half of 2024.
Deontay Wilder-Joseph Parker
The Joshua fight will only be the case should Wilder beat Parker, the former world champion who has bounced back from a punishing loss to Joe Joyce with three lower-level wins. The American looks to add a 43rd knockout to his record.
Dmitry Bivol-Lyndon Arthur
Bivol was facing a year of inactivity before this card came about, but will now fight his one bout of 2023 against the UK’s Lyndon Arthur, who has built up four wins since his loss to Anthony Yarde. Bivol will be looking to remain undefeated, keep his WBC Light-Heavyweight World Title and push for a unification against Artur Beterbiev.
Jai Opetaia-Ellis Zorro
Opetaia takes on his second British opponent in a matter of months, this time defending his IBF Cruiserweight World Title against 17-0 Ellis Zorro. A win for the Aussie sets him on the path of defending his belt in a rematch against the man he won if from – Mairis Breidis.
Daniel Dubois-Jarrell Miller
The post-fight debate of Dubois’ loss to Oleksandr Usyk in his world title attempt was all about a low-blow, but many felt they didn’t see enough heart from the young UK heavyweight. That will need to be on show throughout fight week and in the ring against undefeated brash American, Jarrell Miller – best known on these shores for squandering an opportunity to face Anthony Joshua by failing doping tests.
Arslanbek Makhmudov-Agit Kabayel
Two undefeated heavyweights collide, with Makhmudov the one with the momentum despite being three years older than 31-year-old Kabayel. The Russian looks to keep up his reputation as a knockout artist against Germany’s Kabayel, who has has fought once per year since 2017.
Frank Sanchez-Junior Fa
Undefeated Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez faces New Zealand’s Junior Fa, who was knocked out by Lucas Browne in one round in mid-2022 before returning with a low-level win this year. Sanchez, trained by Eddy Reynoso of Canelo fame, looks to move 24-0.
Fillip Hrgovic-Mark Di Mori
IBF number one contender Filip Hrgovic faces 41-year-old Mark De Mori in the strangest match-up of the card. De Mori was knocked out by David Haye in one round back in 2016, but has recorded 11 wins since in mostly eight rounders. Fans expect Hrgovic to keep his mandatory position.