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Miriam Onyango

Anthony Joshua’s Next Bout In Saudi Arabia Still On Schedule

Deontay Wilder was the opponent that Anthony Joshua wanted to fight. However, Joshua was forced to hunt for new opponents after Joseph Parker upset Wilder from US last month.


The next bout for the British fighter Anthony Joshua(27-3, 24KOs), the two-time heavyweight champion, is still scheduled for March in Saudi Arabia, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn. Joshua, 34, from England had a strong comeback in 2023. Joshua won three fights in following back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed world champion. He defeated Jermaine Franklin in a twelve-round unanimous decision in April, stopped Robert Helenius in August, and returned to the ring last month in Saudi Arabia to easily defeat Otto Wallin in five rounds.


Many fighters are being considered for the British celebrity’s next bout in Saudi Arabia. MMA veteran Francis Ngannou, undefeated fighter Filip Hrgovic(17-0, 14KOs), and Zhilei Zhang(26-1-1, 21KOs) from China are a few of the choices.


“I lost to a better man 11 years ago in the Olympics. I’m happy we have both come a long way, gone through ups and downs in life. Now it’s time to do this for the sport of boxing and give it to the fans around the world. Let’s get it on!” said Zhang on his Instagram account. 


“Right now, we have three fights that were in discussions for they’re all big. And that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder. Before March our aim, and we’ve discussed this, is to fight the winner of Fury versus Usyk. That is all we want to do,” said Hearn.


“Obviously there’s a Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title; there’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there which would be absolutely colossal. There’s other heavyweights as well, the Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury,” he added.


Currently serving as the primary organizer for boxing events in Saudi Arabia, Frank Warren of Queensberry disclosed over the weekend that he is planning a March Saudi card. For many, Hrgovic is the clear favorite to win Joshua.


On February 17 in Saudi Arabia, Usyk and WBC champion Tyson Fury are expected to square off in an undisputed bout. After the first Fury-Usyk fight, there is scheduled to be a two-way rematch, and the IBF championship is anticipated to become vacant. Hrgovic is the required challenger for the IBF. He and Joshua fighting for the vacant IBF belt has become a very serious possibility.


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