Anthony Joshua will have to wait until March at the earliest to face Deontay Wilder after the heavyweight showdown suffered a new delay, reports mirror.co.uk.
Joshua had hoped to fight his rival in either December or January in the Middle East, but will now take an interim fight before potentially facing the American in the spring. Joshua was last in action in August when he stopped Robert Helenius before it was announced the Finn had failed a pre-fight drugs test.
Joshua is also in a position to fight for the IBF world title should it become vacant after Tyson Fury’s undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk, which is pencilled in for December 23 in Saudi Arabia. And his promoter Eddie Hearn told iFL TV: “He wants to, he really wants to (fight). We’ve been on calls with him all week. There’s a lot happening with the IBF situation. We’ll have to see. I think he’s going to fight in December or January.
“I think the Wilder fight, realistically, is not going to happen until March or April, at the latest. But he wants to fight. He wants to go back to camp and asked us to try and make him a fight for December, whether that spills into January we’ll see.”
Joshua has fought just four times in the last three years, losing back-to-back world title fights to Usyk before outpointing Jermaine Franklin and knocking out Helenius. He said after his most recent win: “Any time’s a good time to fight. It’s only a fight. It doesn’t matter who it is. It could’ve been Wilder eight years ago or Wilder now. It is what it is at the end of the day.
“There’s no worry to me when it is. I’m just happy that we can get the fight going, and I think people appreciate that. I’m doing my best to keep heavyweight boxing on the map.”
Wilder has been even less active, fighting just twice in the last two years, a first-round stoppage of Helenius. Before that he lost back-to-back fights against Fury, who retains his WBC belt despite not defending it since last December. He will take on former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, in Saudi Arabia on October 28.