Before Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou even stepped into a ring to face one another, a date of December 23 was set for Fury to fight Oleksandr Usyk. The premature booking to determine the next undisputed heavyweight champion was considered foolproof thanks to Ngannou’s novice skills. However, Ngannou shocked those who doubted him, knocking Fury down in the third round and putting forth a tremendous effort. Though he lost via split decision, Ngannou proved that shouldn’t have been overlooked.
Following the fight, there were doubts about whether Fury vs. Usyk would happen as planned. Reports now suggest that the fight will happen sometime in February 2024. But while that fight will not go ahead on December 23, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia might have a solid backup plan. As they say, the show must go on, and Riyadh Season could bounce back with a heavyweight boxing carnival featuring Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Per Dan Rafael, former champions Joshua and Wilder will reportedly compete in Saudi Arabia. However, they won’t fight one another yet and will instead take part in separate bouts. It would be a collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority, which has increased its role in the sports world with LIV Golf and partnerships with WWE, MMA, and boxing.
“I don’t want to say too much because I know I talk too much. As I said, we have been approached regarding that date. It’s six weeks, we’ve got a big international stable of fighters, some of which would be ready to fight on December 23. We’ll see what happens,” Eddie Hearn told Boxing Social.
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A former two-time unified heavyweight champion, Joshua is on a two-fight win streak after losing twice to Usyk. His last fight was a knockout win over Robert Helenius. Swedish contender Otto Wallin, who is best known for giving Fury a tough fight in 2019, is rumored to be the opponent. Wallin is on a six-fight win streak, and last fought in September.
Former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder last fought in October 2022 when he knocked out Helenius inside three minutes. That was his first fight since completing a trilogy against Fury, who fought “The Bronze Bomber” to a draw before stopping him twice. Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is his rumored opponent. New Zealand’s Parker is on a three-fight win streak and last fought in October.
Other fighters rumored for the card include WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, Filip Hrgovic, and Daniel Dubois. Here’s all you need to know so far about the rumored fight card, including date, time, location, odds, card, and more.
The event would take place on December 23.
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The Sporting News will provide additional information when available. Several of the fighters involved are under the Matchroom and Queensberry Promotions umbrella, which makes for a potential collaboration between ESPN+ and DAZN.
The event would be in Saudi Arabia a an arena TBD. Joshua has fought in King Abdullah Sports City and Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia.
As of now, odds are not available for this event.
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