Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to fight on same card in Saudi Arabia

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The former heavyweight world champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will fight separate opponents on the same night in Saudi Arabia on December 23.

Joshua, two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, will face Otto Wallin, the 32-year-old Swede with a 26-1 professional record who previously lost to Tyson Fury.

Wilder, the former WBC champion, will meanwhile take on Joseph Parker, who previously held the WBO belt but lost it to Joshua in March 2018.

If Joshua and Wilder both win they could face one another in 2024. Fury and Oleksandr Usyk hold the heavyweight world titles and are expected to meet in a unification fight in the same year.

Elsewhere, Dmitry Bivol, the WBA light-heavyweight champion, will defend his title against Lyndon Arthur, a 32-year-old from Manchester with a 23-1 record.

The British heavyweight Daniel Dubois will face American Jarrell Miller, who was slated to face Joshua in 2019 only to fail a drugs test. Joshua instead faced Andy Ruiz Jr who sensationally stopped him to win the unified heavyweight titles.

The December card will take place in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, where current champion Fury narrowly beat Francis Ngannou last month.

The former UFC champion Ngannou was making his professional boxing debut and knocked down Fury in the third round of the fight.

The high-profile events are part of ‘Riyadh Season’ — an entertainment events festival held in the city every year since 2019.

The country’s increased involvement in sport has proven controversial, however. The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, said in September that he “does not care” about accusations that the country is “sportswashing”.

But critics have said the country is using the events to distract from its human rights record. Read more on that here.

(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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