Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
Former heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will reportedly meet on March 9th in Saudi Arabia if both win their upcoming bouts, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.
Both co-headline the upcoming ‘Day of Reckoning’ card on December 23rd – with Joshua facing Sweden’s Otto Wallin while Wilder takes on former WBO champion Joseph Parker.
A fight between Joshua and Wilder remains one of the most anticipated in the sport even though neither man currently holds a world title to their name.
Wallin and Parker look to spoil heavyweight party
While fans will rightly be excited about a potential match-up between the pair, both must first emerge victorious on the 23rd in the Middle East.
Joshua’s fight will Wallin will be the Brit’s third since consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk which saw ‘AJ’ surrender his unified heavyweight titles.
A comfortable points victory over Jermaine Franklin in April was followed by a seventh-round stoppage of late replacement Robert Helenius in August after original opponent Dillian Whyte returned an adverse finding in a VADA drugs test.
Wallin initially gained attention in his unanimous decision defeat to Tyson Fury in 2019 but has continued his assent up the heavyweight rankings.
The 33-year-old has since picked up wins over the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Rydell Booker and most recently Murat Gassiev to find himself ranked second with the IBF.
The position leaves him in good stead to challenge for the full title when the belt inevitably becomes vacant after Fury and Usyk meet in February.
Alabama’s Wilder meanwhile hasn’t fought in 14 months since a first-round stoppage of the aforementioned Helenius in October 2022.
The win saw the American return a year after his eleventh-round stoppage loss to WBC champion Fury in their trilogy bout.Embed from Getty Images
Above: Wallin fought and cut Fury before losing widely on points four years ago. Photo by Getty Images.
A fight with Parker was initially mooted when both held sanctioning body titles five years ago but failed to develop.
The New Zealander lost his WBO belt to Joshua before losing to another Briton in Whyte in his next bout.
Back-to-back wins over Derek Chisora were followed by a brutal eleventh-round defeat to Joe Joyce in September 2022.
Parker has since rebounded with three victories this year however and has the opportunity to throw himself back into world title contention with an upset win over Wilder in two weeks’ time.