The latter two boxers agreed on a deal to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, with Fury’s representative, Spencer Browne, confirming that a date of December 23rd, 2023, was likely. The news arrived in the aftermath of the Joshua vs. Wilder fight breaking down after Skills Challenge Entertainment could not deliver the bout in Saudi Arabia. And as the power in Saudi boxing moved to the General Sports Authority, there was a perception that Joshua vs. Wilder would not happen as Fury vs. Ngannou was announced. And yet, Joshua’s following comments show a fighter who remains optimistic that a bout will happen, which echoes the initial reports of Saudi Arabia wanting a four-man heavyweight tournament.
🥊🇬🇧🚨 FURY v USYK & JOSHUA v WILDER in APRIL💥
Anthony Joshua has just revealed to @SkySportsF1 he expects to fight Deontay Wilder on the “big lively” undercard of the Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk undisputed clash “in April”
But first he will be out again in December! pic.twitter.com/CwiQaBrpmp
— Boxing UK (@Boxing_UK_) October 22, 2023
“They want to put Usyk-Fury, Joshua-Wilder on the same night. That might not happen until April. When Fury gets through Ngannou, it is going to be late October, early November, so I doubt he will now prepare for Usyk and fight in December, it’s too short. So the next window will probably be in March-April, so that’s probably when the undisputed fight will potentially happen. Then obviously what we are being told is they want to make it a mega card and they like the sound of Joshua v Wilder on the same card as well,” Joshua
Those comments contradict that of Fury’s representative. However, it does play in line with the perception that a December bout would not be possible due to the short turnaround time. Usyk had suggested that he required a 14-week camp, while Fury’s bout with Ngannou would leave less than two months to prepare for the boxer’s biggest fight. And that timeline would suggest a fight in 2024, which is why Joshua appears to be targeting another fight before the year is out.
The name currently in the conversation for the fight is Agit Kabayel. The German’s best win was a victory over Derrick Chisora, showing that the aim is to continue rebuilding Joshua following the consecutive Oleksandr Usyk losses. However, the desire to remain active is vital for the Brit if he is to implement his new style under the tutelage of Derrick James.
“Kabayel has been mentioned. We appreciate that it won’t be a mega-fight, but he’s [Joshua] okay with that. He wants to get back in the ring and keep himself active while he waits for those mega-fights. Really, there’s two fights that AJ needs to have before he retires, and that’s Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. For me, he has to have those fights next year, and that’s the plan. What he’s not going to do is be inactive like a lot of these guys,” Eddie Hearn
Social Media Response
We’ve been here a few times before. For the sake of boxing I hope this finally happens
— Dan Frost (@DannyBoyFrost) October 22, 2023