Saudi Arabia hasn’t given up on their plan to host the two biggest heavyweight boxing bouts possible on the same night.
Since the start of 2023, people have been talking about a wild night of fights in Riyadh that was being planned for December. The card would feature Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship, plus Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder. Both fights are blockbusters on their own. Together, it would have been the biggest event of the year.
Unfortunately, the event never came together. Oleksandr Usyk is fighting Daniel Dubois this Saturday, August 26th. Tyson Fury is facing Francis Ngannou on October 28th. And that Joshua vs. Wilder fight? Delayed until January at the earliest. Honestly, it’s all a bit frustrating. Four of the top heavyweights in boxing spent the majority of 2023 in a holding pattern because of the big money purses being dangled for this night of superfights.
Now we’re learning that Saudi Arabia is still working to make their ambitious plans a reality. Anthony Joshua revealed his fight with Deontay Wilder continues to be be targeted as a co-main under Fury vs. Usyk.
“The goal is to have Usyk and Fury compete for the undisputed heavyweight championship, myself and Deontay Wilder, two big punchers, great fighters, been to the top of the mountain, slug it out and may the best man win,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “It’ll be a great event potentially. Wait to see what happens and then finalize the devil in the detail.”
“Fury’s got to get past Ngannou. Usyk’s got to get past Dubois. Good luck to both of them. Good luck to every party involved and we can sit down and then re-jig things around.”
There’s a lot of logistics involved in getting even one of these fights signed, let alone two. If anyone can do it, it’s the Saudis with their deep pockets. But let’s hope it comes together fast, because it’s been a relatively disappointing year slate-wise for the big four at the top of boxing’s heavyweight division.