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Joshua and Wilder both feature on sizzling Saudi card
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Matthew Hill
Anthony Joshua will face Otto Wallin in Riyadh on December 23
Anthony Joshua will face Otto Wallin in Riyadh on December 23

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will both be in action on an epic evening of heavyweight boxing in Saudi Arabia on December 23.

Joshua, 34, will be hunting his third win of the year against 32-year-old Swede Otto Wallin, who suffered his only professional loss to Tyson Fury in 2019.

AJ said: "I said at the start of this year that my plan was to begin my journey of activity. Three fights in 12 months, two victories and one pending. 

"I am grateful to his Excellency Turki Alalshikh for the opportunity to fulfil my plan. I am fully focused on December 23 and finishing the year in good fashion. 

"Even on a bad day, I'll smoke him [Wallin]."

"I believe I will be three-time heavyweight champion of the world. I'm determined to win and I'm determined to get back to my peak, if that's what they want to call it."

Meanwhile, knockout artist Wilder, 38, will end more than a year of inactivity against New Zealand's Joseph Parker on a card full of household names.

The pre-Christmas date was initially earmarked for Fury's hotly-anticipated showdown with Oleksandr Usyk, which is now expected to take place in February. 

Recent reports have suggested that if Joshua and Wilder both come through their scheduled bouts unscathed, they could face each other on the undercard when the WBC champion trades leather with unified title-holder Usyk. 

Also on the bill in Riyadh is Daniel Dubois, who will look to bounce back from his summer defeat to Usyk when he faces undefeated American Jarrell Miller.

Miller, 35, had been scheduled for a world title fight with Joshua back in 2019 but was withdrawn after testing positive for banned substances.

Away from the heavyweight division, Russian star Dmitry Bivol — who memorably stunned Saul Alvarez in May 2022 — defends his WBA world light-heavyweight belt against Manchester's Lyndon Arthur.

Other notable fighters set to be in action include Filip Hrgovic, Arslanbek Makhmudov and Jai Opetaia.

It is the latest major boxing event to be held in the Gulf State after Fury's crossover fight with MMA icon Francis Ngannou, which proved to be far closer than widely anticipated.

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