Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are reportedly in talks to fight on the same night in Saudi Arabia, each in separate bouts, as a build-up to a potential blockbuster match between the two heavyweight superstars.
Backers in Saudi Arabia pull out, leading to interim fights
The highly anticipated bout between Joshua and Wilder had been in the works for years until the backers in Saudi Arabia withdrew their support. As a result, both fighters now face the prospect of returning to the ring for interim fights before negotiations can resume.
Potential card scheduled for December 23
Boxing bosses in Saudi Arabia had initially planned for a major event on December 23, featuring Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. However, Fury's recent controversial win over ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou has led to a postponement of the historic four-belt heavyweight unification until February. Despite this, the Saudis still want to host a boxing event on December 23.
Joshua and Wilder on the same card
According to Dan Rafael, there are discussions to have Joshua and Wilder fight in separate bouts on the same card. This arrangement is aimed at building anticipation and momentum for a potential match between the two in the following year.
Ngannou plans to wait for a rematch with Fury
Francis Ngannou was also considered for the December 23 card, but he has recently confirmed his plans to wait for a rematch with Fury. This decision leaves the door open for Joshua and Wilder to take center stage.
Christmas cracker in the Middle East
Promoter Frank Warren has hinted at a "Christmas cracker" event being organized in the Middle East. While details are still under wraps, Warren promises that it will be a historical night in boxing.