Yet MORE news regarding the upcoming December 23rd card to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. According to a news piece from Dan Rafael, former heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua – who are each closing in on an agreement to appear on the card, against separate opponents – both have a dance partner set to go should the deal come off.
According to Rafael’s sources (almost always 100 percent reliable), Wilder will square off with former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker on the card next month, while AJ will face former world heavyweight title challenger, Otto Wallin on December 23. Both good, solid match ups, I think you will agree.
Nothing is official yet, but things do seem to be taking shape. In addition to the two star heavyweights, there is word that reigning WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol will also appear on the big card, against Richard Rivera (who was, in the opinion of many, robbed in his August 2022 decision loss to Badou Jack). This could prove to be an interesting fight if it happens, and the colourfully nicknamed Rivera, AKA, ‘Popeye the Sailor Man,’ certainly deserves a shot after being so hard done by in the Jack fight.
Back to the heavyweights though. 32 year old Wallin, 26-1(12) is best known for giving Tyson Fury a real scare back in September of 2019, this when the southpaw from Sweden had Fury badly cut and in danger of being stopped. Since then, Wallin has won six in a row and he is coming off a good win over former cruiserweight champ Murat Gassiev. It is possible that some fans will see Wallin as a very, very live underdog against AJ.
31 year old Parker, 33-3(23) has been in with a number of big names, the New Zealander who held the WBO title in 2016 to 2018 having faced the likes of Joshua, Andy Ruiz, Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora and Joe Joyce. Parker is 3-0(2) since suffering a stoppage loss to Joyce in September of last year. Last seen scoring a keep-busy win over an over-matched Simon Kean, Parker is still young, fresh, and he has fast hands and a ton of experience. Might Parker pull off the upset against a rusty Wilder?
Three interesting fights to come, we think, on December 23 in Saudi Arabia.