Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are reportedly in talks to appear on the same card in Saudi Arabia, just not against each other.
December 23 was originally pencilled in as the date Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk would fight for the undisputed heavyweight title, but, following the Brit’s tougher-than-expected ten rounds against Francis Ngannou, that has been pushed back to February.
Those behind Riyadh Season are apparently still keen on some boxing taking place two days before Christmas – and three from Boxing Day – with promoter Frank Warren having revealed he was working on a ‘historic night’ for the sport.
Now, Dan Rafael has reported that Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are ‘both working to finish deals with Turki Alalshikh of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority … to fight on seperate bouts of a major December 23 pay-per-view event.’
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, confirmed to Boxing Social that he has been approached about the December 23 date, and listed some names as to who Joshua could face next.
“I don’t want to go on about the Wilder fight, but I think that’s March or April. I think he’s talking about fighting in January. People always say give us some names – I don’t know, Hrgovic, Wallin, Kabayel. Right now we’ve not reached out officially for anyone for December 23, but if talks to speed up we would make a play for that date.”
Wilder and Joshua have been in on and off talks for some time now, but made progress this year with an offer from Saudi’s Skill Challenge Entertainment.
With that company now seemingly out of the picture, the talks between the two former champions were set back, until now. Should this relationship with Riyadh Season and the new boxing powerhouses in the nation bear fruit, fans could indeed see the transatlantic tear-up early next year.
The first step for that is both looking good on December 23.