Former heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will fight in separate matchups Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
If Joshua beats Otto Wallin and Wilder bests Joseph Parker, all signs point to Joshua and Wilder squaring off March 9 for a long-anticipated bout.
And once Joshua and Wilder meet, the winner will finally emerge one step closer to challenging for one of the major heavyweight titles.
“The Day of Reckoning is an unprecedented event, and it’s a great tournament. If Wilder and Joshua fight, it will be a natural final elimination bout between the WBC’s No. 1 challenger Wilder and No. 2 Joshua for the mandatory shot. We’ll wait to see what happens on Saturday, but at this time there is nothing [yet official],” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
WBC titlist Tyson Fury will be fighting WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk on Feb. 17 for undisputed supremacy.
“From what I understand, Fury-Usyk and Wilder-Joshua both have rematch agreements,” said Sulaiman.
“I feel very very excited. We’ve been having a push for this for many years. When Wilder was our champion [from 2015 to 2020], we provided all of the time and possibilities for him to face Joshua at the time. When Fury beat Wilder and became the champion, we did several things in the process, hoping [for Fury] to land the fight with Joshua, and then Usyk. So it’s been a long process – a long due process. Now it’s happening, and the WBC is proud, happy and supportive. It’s a great moment for boxing.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.