Renowned heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua will have to exercise patience as his highly anticipated clash with Deontay Wilder faces yet another setback, according to reports from mirror.co.uk.
Initially, Joshua aimed to face his rival either in December or January in the Middle East. However, the bout has now been pushed back, prompting Joshua to consider an interim fight before potentially going head-to-head with the American in the spring. In his most recent fight in August, Joshua secured a victory over Robert Helenius before it was revealed that the Finn had failed a pre-fight drugs test.
Furthermore, Joshua is also in contention to compete for the IBF world title if it becomes vacant after Tyson Fury’s upcoming undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk. The Fury-Usyk fight is scheduled for December 23 in Saudi Arabia. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, stated in an interview with iFL TV, “He wants to, he really wants to fight. We’ve been in constant discussions with him throughout the week. The IBF situation is evolving rapidly. We’ll have to wait and see. I believe he will fight in December or January.”
Realistically, Joshua’s much-anticipated bout with Wilder may not occur until March or April, at the latest. However, Joshua’s determination remains steadfast. He has expressed his desire to return to training camp and requested his team to arrange a fight for him in December, with the possibility of extending into January.
Joshua has had a relatively limited number of fights in the past three years, participating in only four bouts. After losing back-to-back world title fights to Usyk, he rebounded with victories against Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius. Joshua shared his perspective after his recent triumph, stating, “Any time is a good time to fight. It’s merely a showdown. The timing, whether it was Wilder eight years ago or Wilder today, holds no concern for me. What matters is that we can make the fight happen. I believe people appreciate that sentiment. I am committed to keeping heavyweight boxing in the spotlight.”
On the other hand, Wilder has been less active, participating in only two fights over the past two years. He achieved a first-round stoppage against Helenius but faced defeat in successive fights against Fury. Despite his inactivity, Fury still holds the WBC belt, which he has not defended since December last year. Wilder is set to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on October 28.