Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder fights CONFIRMED for Saudi show in December


Joshua and Wilder will fight next year if they come through December unscathed (Picture: Getty)

A historic night for boxing has been confirmed with Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to fight in separate bouts on a star-studded show in Saudi Arabia on 23 December.

Joshua will take on Otto Wallin in the main event while Wilder will be in action against former world champion Joseph Parker two days before Christmas.

Those fights are viewed as a stepping stone to bring the heavyweight rivals together in the ring in 2024 in a fight that has been eight years in the making.

The confirmed card also includes Daniel Dubois in action against Jarrell Miller, the American who failed a string of drug tests in 2019 that led to his world title fight against Joshua being cancelled.

In total, there will be eight fights on the card, six of those at heavyweight, bringing together some of boxing’s biggest names and promotional rivals, including long-time rivals Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren.

The show is backed by Turki Alalshikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority and the man most responsible for bringing Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou together in the region in October.

Otto Wallin

Wallin shared a bloody battle with Fury in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

The 23 December date had been reserved for Fury’s undisputed title showdown with Oleksandr Usyk.

But after his bruising night against former UFC champion Ngannou, that date has now been pushed back to 17 February with their fight set to be officially confirmed on Thursday.

That December date has now been considerably filled by series of fights that make up one of the most spectacular nights in boxing history.

Daniel Dubois

Dubois will take on Miller as part of the card (Picture: Getty)

Joshua’s opponent Wallin has just one defeat in his 28 professional fights, going the distance with Fury in 2019 having opened up a huge cut on ‘The Gypsy King’ in what was an impressive performance from the Swede.

Due to logistical issues, Joshua will be trained by Ben Davison in the lead up to his December date, the same man who coincidentally was in Fury’s corner for that fight four years ago. The Briton’s full-time trainer remains Derrick James, with their partnership expected to resume for his next fight.

23 December card in full:

Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin

Deontay Wilder vs Joseph Parker

Daniel Dubois vs Jarrell Miller

Dmitry Bivol vs Lyndon Arthur (WBA light-heavyweight title)

Jai Opetaia vs Ellis Zorro (IBF cruiserweight title)

Filip Hrgovic vs Mark De Mori

Frank Sanchez vs Junior Fa

Arslanbek Makhmudov vsAgit Kabayel

Wilder, 38, will be fighting for just the second time in over two years – with his only other ring appearance in that period lasting just one round in his demolition job on Robert Helenius in October 2022. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ takes on Parker, the former WBO champion who has rattled off three victories in 2023.

WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, the man who outclassed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 2022, will also be part of the card, fighting for the first time this year against Manchester’s Lyndon Arthur.

Bivol puts his title on the line against Manchester fighter Arthur (Picture: Getty)

Arthur stunned Anthony Yarde with a superb performance in 2021 before suffering a knockout defeat in their rematch later that year. Having won his last four, picking up the IBO title in September, he challenges for one of boxing’s major world titles for the first time in his career.

IBF cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia also returns to action against British opposition in Ellis Zorro.

The south Londoner is undefeated in 17 professional bouts but comes up against an opponent in Opetaia who has stopped 18 of his 23 opponents to date, including a brutal knockout of another English fighter in Jordan Thompson in September.

Filip Hrgovic, the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s IBF title takes on Mark de Mori, the veteran Australian who was knocked out in one round by David Haye eight years ago.

In the two other heavyweight fights, Cuban sensation Frank Sanchez takes on Junior Fa with the unbeaten Arslanbek Makhmudov up against Agit Kabayel.

MORE : Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk finally settle on date for unification fight

MORE : Deontay Wilder arrives in London as speculation intensifies over Saudi Arabia show with Anthony Joshua in December

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