- Joshua and Wilder set for showdown
- Potential for sensational double bill with Usyk and Fury
- AJ could still fight in December
Anthony Joshua has hinted at the possibility of a sensational double bill that would feature his long-anticipated clash with Deontay Wilder alongside Tyson Fury’s historic bout against Oleksandr Usyk.
Sensational heavyweight double bill on the cards
The highly-anticipated showdown between champions Fury and Usyk, vying for the coveted undisputed heavyweight title, has already been inked for a monumental event scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. However, there is growing speculation that this historic faceoff might need to be rescheduled.
Joshua, a former two-time world heavyweight champion, has been a focal point of discussions surrounding a showdown with the formidable Deontay Wilder. Although initial negotiations fell through, the potential for this electrifying matchup remains high.
Speaking from the sidelines at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Joshua shared his insights, revealing a likely timeline. “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,” Joshua stated. “So the next window will probably be in March-April, so that’s probably when the undisputed fight will potentially happen.”
Usyk, the current WBA, WBO, and IBF titleholder, has indicated that he requires ample time for his training camp. “I can’t say that everything’s OK, but I’m fine. Some wounds, old injuries need to be healed. Everything’s under control,” Usyk shared on his YouTube channel. “I do my training sessions every day, but I need 14 weeks for my camp. It would be enough time for me.”
Fury, holding the WBC championship, is set to face MMA star Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout in Riyadh. This bout adds another layer of complexity to the scheduling puzzle.
While the initial plan was to have Fury and Usyk collide in December, logistical challenges might necessitate a later date. Organisers of the Fury-Usyk fight are targeting a December 23rd date, but this could be subject to change.
A potential spring date, however, opens the door to the tantalising prospect of a four-way faceoff between the dominant figures of heavyweight boxing. Alongside Fury, Usyk, Joshua, and Wilder, the retired Wladimir Klitschko’s legacy looms large over the division.
Fury’s journey in the heavyweight division has been nothing short of remarkable. From dethroning Klitschko in 2015 to his triumphant return to the sport after a hiatus due to mental health issues, Fury has emerged as one of the sport’s most compelling figures. His trilogy with Wilder and subsequent title defences have solidified his status as a force to be reckoned with.
Usyk’s trajectory is equally impressive, culminating in his historic victory over Joshua in 2021. The Olympic gold medalist in 2012 became an undisputed cruiserweight champion before making waves in the heavyweight division.
Joshua, too, has had a storied career, culminating in his ascent to world champion in just his 16th fight. His victories this year have set the stage for a potential showdown with Wilder, a matchup that has garnered immense interest from fans.
Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight titleholder, remains a formidable presence in the division. Despite a limited number of fights since his encounters with Fury, he continues to command attention.
Joshua emphasised his commitment to staying active, stating, “For an event, that’s good [the potential double bill], but for a career, I’ve got to stay busy.” He also clarified that he is in the process of refining his training methods, rather than changing trainers.
As the negotiations and preparations continue to unfold, the heavyweight division stands at the precipice of a momentous chapter. The potential for these four boxing titans to share the same stage is a prospect that will undoubtedly captivate fans worldwide.
Joshua has had two victories this year over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helinius after suffering back-to-back losses to Usyk. While some pundits will say that he has not convinced, AJ appears to be happy with his training methods and seems to be confident that he can return to his best. Wilder, however, is a formidable opponent and remains, to date, the only man to avoid defeat to Fury after the first fight of their trilogy ended in a draw. At this stage Wilder is the clear favourite, however, bettors will possibly be able to assess the progress made by Joshua if he fights in December.
As far as Usyk vs Fury, the “Gypsy King” is the favourite. At the time of writing, bet365 have him at 2/5, with Usyk at 2/1.
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