Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in line to fight on same Saudi card – but not against each other

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are reportedly set to agree to separate fights on the same card in Saudi Arabia on December 23rd.

A fight between the two former heavyweight champions has been discussed for several years, with the most recent attempt to schedule the fight for 2023 unsuccessful after negotiations stalled.

However, per reports from Dan Rafael, the two are now close to agreeing upon fights in Riyad - albeit not against each other. The date, however, could lay the foundations for a super fight between the two in 2024.

December 23rd was initially the date scheduled for the heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk after the two agreed terms for their undisputed fight in the Middle East.

However, that much-anticipated bout has had to be pushed back into 2024 after Fury nearly suffered a dramatic defeat against Francis Ngannou in a fight where the unbeaten boxer was knocked down by the former UFC heavyweight champion.

While opponents are yet to be confirmed, reports suggest that ‘AJ’ could be in line to face Otto Wallin - a former opponent of Fury - while Wilder could take on former world heavyweight champion Joshua Parker.

There are also reports of a return to the ring for WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol as well as young British heavyweight Daniel Dubois on the same card, the latter returning for the first time since his knockout defeat against Usyk.

Anythony Joshua most recently fought Robert Helenius (Action Images via Reuters)
Anythony Joshua most recently fought Robert Helenius (Action Images via Reuters)

Wilder has not fought in over a year since his emphatic first-round knockout victory over Robert Helenius in October 2022.

Joshua, meanwhile, would be in line for his third fight of the year if he laced up the gloves again in December. The Brit secured a unanimous decision victory over Jermaine Franklin in April, before also knocking out Helenius in August when the Finnish fighter stepped in at late notice to replace Dillian Whyte.

Joshua is currently in Dallas, Texas alongside coach Derrick James, although the 34-year-old has also been working with Ben Davison - Fury’s former coach - while back in the UK. He also recently teased a potential fight with Fury should he come through his bout with Wilder, claiming “it’s a challenge, but one I would be up for.”