The talks between the pair appear no closer to resulting in a fight after a bout in Saudi Arabia collapsed. There had been an expectation that the fight would go ahead in Saudi after Eddie Hearn confirmed that terms had been agreed verbally, subject to a contract. Although that may have been the case, Skills Challenge Entertainment were not able to deliver the fight.
Instead, the focus turned towards Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou which was announced as the shift in Saudi boxing moved towards the General Sports Authority. That has left both boxers in an uncertain postion. Joshua’s failure to face a big name has been met with criticism after below-par performances against Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius. Meanwhile, Wilder has been out of the ring for a year since the first-round stoppage of Helenius. And given that Wilder and Joshua were on course to face each other for undisputed at one point, the failure to get the fight over the line has left the ‘Bronze Bomber’ with much disappointment.
“Anthony, you’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth himself. I’m here, I’m ready to go. I heard some of the things about what your promoter [Eddie Hearn] said about my last fight [against Robert Helenius last year in October], which only lasted a short period of time [less than one round], and I haven’t fought in a year, and he doesn’t know if I want to fight or not. I’m letting you know right now, right here, that I’m ready to fight and ready to get in that ring. Let’s make this the best time of our lives. This will be a major disaster if we never get in the ring and put our stamp down in history,” Wilder said
Despite this being the case, the social media response was mixed. A certain subset of boxing fans had lost interest in the bout, given that no belts were on the line. Meanwhile, others questioned whether the boxers were capable of delivering a competitive performance, particularly given Joshua’s form.
Social Media Response
Why do people keep talking about AJ. He’s done at the top
— Dean Dean (@barrington2022) October 22, 2023
There we have it, 2 fights with no real relevance to boxing other than making money before AJ done. Wouldn’t mind if their was a real appetite for them, not just outta curiosity & a night out !
But are we there yet @EddieHearn ? pic.twitter.com/w99BlUfzGC
— Jos (@jos_lyrics) October 22, 2023