Wilder vows to knockout Joshua in proposed Saudi Arabia bout

By Sports Desk April 20, 2023

Deontay Wilder vowed to deliver Saudi Arabia's first knockout victim if a proposed heavyweight bout against Anthony Joshua goes ahead.

The two former heavyweight champions are widely reported to be in discussions for what would be one of the most fiercely anticipated fights in recent years.

Joshua is on the hunt for a new opponent after responding to back-to-back defeats with victory over Jermaine Franklin earlier this month, while Wilder beat Robert Helenius in October after consecutive losses to Tyson Fury.

Both fighters are keen to work their way up the rankings to earn another shot at the titles and, with the pair having history with Fury and Usyk, a meeting in the ring is a favoured option for many fans.

Should a blockbuster clash in Saudi Arabia occur, Wilder is confident he would see off Joshua with a knockout.

"What we expecting? I'm gonna just put it like this, I'll just keep it sweet, I'm gonna give Saudi their first knockout victim," he told ES News.

Earlier this week, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he was travelling to the Far East to discuss the potential fight.

Remarkably, the proposals are to have Wilder and Joshua face off on the same card as a unification bout between Fury and Usyk.

"There have definitely been conversations that have taken place, just of plans, where people would like to host Fury against Usyk and AJ against Wilder on the same night," he told IFL TV.

"It will cost a lot of money, but it would be epic, and we will have those conversations."

Last week, Fury dismissed those rumours on social media but, in his latest update, promised fans of a "monstrous" fight in his return to the ring.

"I've got some massive, massive news coming. An imminent fight date, an absolutely monstrous fight. Keep tuned because the WBC heavyweight king is back in action, coming very, very soon," he said.

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    Anthony Joshua is set for another shot at the IBF heavyweight title but Daniel Dubois hopes to become a "king slayer" when the pair meet at Wembley Stadium.

    Oleksandr Usyk vacated the IBF heavyweight championship just five weeks after becoming the undisputed world heavyweight champion with his win over Tyson Fury, confirming his decision on X on Tuesday.

    The all-British showdown was confirmed the following day as the duo prepare to battle at Wembley on September 21.

    Joshua will bid to become a three-time world champion, while Dubois will appear in his first title fight after becoming the mandatory challenger for the IBF crown with his win over Filip Hrgovic this month.

    The meeting will be Joshua's first at Wembley in three years, and Dubois hopes to bring his homecoming crashing down.

    "That's just where I'm aiming for, to fight the best and be the best," Dubois said at Wednesday's press conference. 

    "AJ's been the king for a long time and on the night, I need to become a king slayer and that's my goal, that's the mission at hand.

    "I'm learning more about myself as a fighter, as a person, coming out of the darkness and into the light, improving all round as a fighter and as an athlete. I'm up for this and ready to go."

    Joshua has repeatedly been suggested as a potential opponent for Usyk or Fury, though says he will turn his attention solely on the upcoming Dubois bout.

    "Congratulations to Daniel for winning his last fight," a measured Joshua said at the same press conference. 

    "I've been having Dubois on my mind for a while and he'll be on my mind for the next 12 weeks until I get my hand raised.

    "The goal is just getting through a successful training camp, performing on the night and the shiny stuff comes at a later date."

  • Usyk no longer undisputed champion with Joshua set to fight for IBF belt Usyk no longer undisputed champion with Joshua set to fight for IBF belt

    Oleksandr Usyk has vacated the IBF heavyweight championship just five weeks after becoming undisputed world heavyweight champion with his win over Tyson Fury.

    The Ukrainian handed Fury his first professional defeat via a split decision last month to unify the WBC belt with his WBA, WBO and IBF titles.

    The fighters are set to face off in a rematch in December and Usyk had requested he keep the IBF belt to make that contest another undisputed bout.

    However, the IBF's rules dictated that Usyk had to be stripped of the title if he did not face mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois next.

    Dubois is expected to face fellow Brit Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on September 21, and that fight is now likely to be for the IBF championship.

    Addressing Joshua and Dubois in an Instagram post, Usyk wrote: "The IBF belt is my present for you. 

    "Your friend, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Oleksandr Usyk."

    Usyk was the first undisputed heavyweight champion since the turn of the century, with Lennox Lewis last achieving the feat in the three-belt era in 1999.

  • Fury to face Usyk in December rematch, says Saudi Arabian official Fury to face Usyk in December rematch, says Saudi Arabian official

    Tyson Fury's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk will take place in Riyadh on December 21, according to the chair of Saudi Arabia's general entertainment authority Turki Alalshikh.

    Earlier this month, Usyk beat Fury by virtue of a split decision to become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis held the WBC, WBA and IBF belts from November 1999 to April 2000.

    It was the first defeat of Fury's professional career, with two judges scoring the fight 115-112 and 114-113 in favour of Usyk, and the third scoring it 114-113 to Fury.

    Fury subsequently described it as "one of the daftest decisions in boxing" and said a second bout would take place in October, with both fighters confirmed as holding a rematch clause in advance of the first fight.

    That date has now been pushed back, but Fury will get a chance to avenge his loss in December.

    In a post on X on Wednesday, Alalshikh wrote: "The rematch... is now scheduled on the 21 of December 2024 during Riyadh Season.

    "The world will watch another historical fight again. Our commitment to boxing fans continues. We hope you enjoy it."

    On Tuesday, Fury's promoter Frank Warren told Sky Sports he was confident the Gypsy King would bounce back. 

    "I spoke to him [Fury] after the fight and obviously when he got back just to make sure he's okay. He was very disappointed but very philosophical," Warren said.

    "It was a fabulous fight, two absolute gladiators who didn't leave anything in the ring in an epic fight, the most important fight of the 21st century. It was a very, very close fight and I think it will be an even bigger one next time."

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