Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder on the skids, AJ could face Tyson...

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder on the skids, AJ could face Tyson Fury next year

Anthony Joshua

Nothing is simple in the heavyweight division.

Just a few short weeks ago it seemed a lock that former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) would meet former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia in January.

But changes to the management structure at Saudi promoter Skill Challenge Entertainment has pumped the brakes on the proposed matchup.

Now it seems the fight may or may not take place. And it may or not take place in Saudi Arabia.

What a difference a day makes.

“We’ve agreed terms for Joshua-Wilder, but until we receive a contract the fight is not happening,” Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing King Media.

“Politically, it sounds like there’s a lot going on. For us, we are ready to take that fight. Shelly Finkel [Wilder’s manager] and I have spoken, they are ready to take that fight.

“It doesn’t just have to happen in Saudi Arabia. There are now other talks about other countries that it could take place in.

“There is a movement of management and ownership of boxing in Saudi and it’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t do Joshua-Wilder maybe it goes somewhere else.

“It’s one of the biggest fights in heavyweight boxing, we are being told they do [want to do it]. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua ended up fighting Fury.”

The Matchroom Boxing boss has already flagged Joshua having a hit out in December, his third fight for the year, if the Wilder bout is pushed back past January.

“If we don’t get something sorted soon we’ll probably see AJ fight in December at a level above where he’s been fighting because he wants to stay active,” Hearn continued.

“It’s frustrating because we’ve been waiting and waiting, we’ve been patient for them and we’ve agreed everything but now it’s slow.”

As for the opponent?

“Filip Hrgovic [or] Andy Ruiz,” Hearn offered. “I don’t know. It would need to be a step up, but it would probably take place outside of the UK [because] he’s just boxed two fights at the O2 [Arena] in four months.

“There’s no guarantee he’ll fight in December and we still wanna make the Wilder fight.

“I’ve already reached out to Saudi Arabia to say, ‘Whoever is moving boxing forward, we have agreed this and we’re ready. If you want to do that, fine. If not, no problem.’”

The suggestion of a Fury bout comes at an interesting time with the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ preparing to take on boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10-round non-title bout in Saudi Arabia on October 28.

Talks between the Joshua and Fury camp have been on and off for years with the British duo yet to share the ring despite their longstanding rivalry.

For the fight to happen, Joshua would need to agree to giving Fury the lion’s share of what promises to be a very large financial pie.