Anthony Joshua has confirmed plans for a December fight with Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia. Reports have been coming out through April that the Saudi Boxing Federation has been plotting to put together one of the biggest nights in boxing history.
Not only would Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight to unify the Heavyweight titles, but Joshua and Wilder would also compete all on the same night.
Fight purses for this unprecedented night of Heavyweight action could hit an insane $400 million. Now, we have Joshua on camera discussing his part of the blockbuster event.
“That’s what happening,” Joshua told a fan who asked about the Wilder fight. “It’s public news, we are getting it done. We’re throwing down in December.”
It’s worth mentioning that Joshua and Wilder aren’t the tricky parts of this “super” fight equation. Fury is the one with a history of difficult fight negotiations. Attempts to get Joshua and Usyk into the ring with “The Gypsy King” have failed to yield fruit so far, with the latest Fury-Usyk negotiations breaking down in March. That may just be because Fury knew Saudi Arabia was sitting in the wings with a nine-figure offer, though.
If this December event comes together, it’s great news for boxing fans. It’s slightly less great for Francis Ngannou, who was hoping to score his own boxing “super” fight bag after leaving UFC. The former Heavyweight champion became a free agent at the start of 2023, and has been angling to step into the ring with one of the four top boxing heavyweights.
This Saudi Arabia night of “super” fights throws quite the wrench into those plans, leaving him with few options other than to wait until 2024.
Joshua has had a shaky couple of years after going undefeated through his career from 2013 to 2018. He was stopped by Andy Ruiz in 2019 (watch highlights), and while he avenged that loss later in the year, it definitely hurt his status. A pair of back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022 further dropped his stock, and a lackluster decision win over Jermaine Franklin in April 2023 isn’t inspiring confidence in a return to form.
Wilder is also on the comeback trail after losing two fights to Fury, but made quick work of Robert Helenius in his last fight with a nasty first round knockout win.