Home Boxing News Christmas comes early with heavyweight bonanza planned for December 23 in Saudi...

Christmas comes early with heavyweight bonanza planned for December 23 in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua. Photo credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A blockbuster heavyweight card featuring some of the best big men on the planet looks set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia two days before Christmas.

The heavyweight fights rumoured to be considered for the card include:

🥊 Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) vs Otto Wallin 26-1 (14)
🥊 Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) vs Joseph Parker 33-3 (23)
🥊 Daniel Dubois 19-2 (18) vs Derek Chisora 34-13 (23) or Jarrell Miller 26-0-1 (22)
🥊 Martin Bakole 20-1 (15) vs Filip Hrgovic 16-0 (13)

In addition, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol 21-0 (11) could defend his world title against Richard Rivera 25-1 (19).

Five of the heavyweights listed to fight on the card are rated in the top 10 by the venerable Ring Magazine. The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ranks four of them in their top 10.

If the card comes off, former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua of Great Britain would be having his third fight this year against Swedish southpaw Wallin, who gave reigning WBC champion Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) all he could handle in their bout four years ago.

The Wilder vs Parker bout would pit two former world champions against each other. American knockout artist Wilder previously held the WBC belt before losing it to Fury, while New Zealand’s Parker was the WBO champ before he dropped the title to Joshua.

Brit Dubois is looking to rebound from his loss to current WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14), who stopped him in nine rounds in August. Veteran Chisora, also of Great Britain, is shopworn but experienced and has generally shown a solid chin, while American Miller would play the role of the villain after twice testing positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.

Bakole, another Brit, will be having a quick turnaround after knocking out Carlos Takam in four rounds in Saudi Arabia on October 28. The bout against Croatian Hrgovic, who is the IBF number one contender, will determine which one of them is really ready for the elite of the blue riband division.

Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, played coy when asked about the stacked card over the weekend.

“Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of things over the last 24 hours,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said. “Look, all I can say from my position is we are in discussions with Saudi Arabia for a number of our fighters to fight on December 23rd. I think that is all I am going to say at the moment because that’s what they are, discussions.”

Hearn added: “It sounds like a credible night that is being planned, we would love to be a part of it.

“We will see where it goes. They approached us probably over the last week, maybe, for a number of our fighters for that date. Like I said, discussions, excitement. We have a lot of world class fighters that will want to fight in December and we will see where it leads.

“AJ wants to fight in December, whether he is part of those discussions or not, we will see. This week, we will see where it goes.”