Anthony Joshua & Deontay Wilder complete card announced for December 23rd

The complete Anthony Joshua & Deontay Wilder’s ‘Day of Reckoning’ PPV card was announced today for December 23rd in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and it’s full of well-known fighters, albeit in largely tune-up level fights from top to bottom.

There’s no word yet about the price of the card for PPV, but it’s likely to be up the upper $70s for U.S. boxing fans, which could be a deal-breaker for many because none of the fights stand out.

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It’s an odd card with A-side fighters matched against weak B-side opponents, and that’s disappointing about the event. The Saudis have the money to insist that fighters like Joshua, Wilder, Bivol & Hrgovic face A-level opposition, yet it’s not happening, and that’s troubling.

One name that is missing from the card is heavyweight Zhilei Zhang, who is arguably better than everyone in the event.

The Saudis should have insisted that Joshua, Wilder, or Hrgovic be matched against Zhang instead of the lesser guys they’re being fed in this event.

Obviously, a talent like Zhang would wreck the Joshua-Wilder fight if he were to face one of those guys, as they’re too fragile and past it to handle the powerful ‘Big Bang.’

The Complete ‘Day of Reckoning’ card

  • Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin
  • Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker
  • Daniel Dubois vs. Jarrell Miller
  • Dmitry Bivol vs. Lyndon Arthur
  • Jai Opetaia vs. Ellis Zorro
  • Frank Sanchez vs. Junior Fa
  • Filip Hrgovic vs. Mark De Mori
  • Arslanbek Makhmudov vs. Agit Kabayel

The worst mismatch in this card of horrible fights is the Filip Hrgovic vs. 41-year-old Mark De Mori clash. Why on Earth is the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic fighting this tomato can?

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This fight essentially sums up the entire event, which is nothing but showcase [read mismatch] fights to make the A-side guys look better than they are.

De Mori was knocked out in the first round by a past-his-prime David Haye in 2016, and he’s not a ranked fighter.

“There will be six out of the top ten on that card. There will be people that will say that ‘We waited for five years for Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.’ No, the fact that they’re on the same card points to the fact that these fights are going to happen,'” said Gareth A. Davies to talkSport Boxing about the December 23rd card in Saudi Arabia.

“Yes, it might be Deontay Wilder if he beats Joseph Parker against Francis Ngannou next. Anthony Joshua against Otto Wallin is a very interesting fight, by the way, because Otto Wallin has gotten better, and better and better. He’s only lost once to Tyson Fury. That could be a taxing fight for Joshua.”

It’s doubtful that Wilder will go anywhere near Ngannou if he gets past former WBO champion Joseph Parker on December 23rd. Wilder has only had one fight in two years, and that was against journeyman Robert Helenius, his old sparring partner.

The only reason Wilder is taking a risky fight against Parker is because he’s being given a ton of money by the Saudis. If Wilder wins this fight, he’ll surely sit and wait on the Joshua mega-fight rather than face someone who could beat him like Ngannou.


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Joshua & Wilder rolling the dice

“How can we keep rolling the dice here? AJ is going to fight Otto Wallin, a southpaw, and Deontay Wilder, who should beat Joseph Parker, has done one round in two years,” said Ade Oladipo. “We’re risking this, aren’t we?

“The more we put them in with other opponents, we’re risking that we’re missing out on one of the biggest heavyweight fights [Joshua vs. Wilder] of all time.”

Ade brings up a good point here. The longer the aging, vulnerable Joshua & Wilder take other fights, the greater the chance they’ll lose again, which would spoil their match-up. Yeah, they could still fight each other, but the interest from the boxing public will be diminished.

“That’s one way of looking at it, but it also means that they got to keep proving themselves as well,” said Gareth about Joshua & Wilder. “They’re building towards it. It doesn’t surprise me that they. Who knows?

“If Joshua & Wilder both win, maybe we’ll get them on the undercard of the undisputed [heavyweight championship between Tyson Fury & Oleksandr Usyk on February 17th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia]. Who knows?”

Joshua & Wilder aren’t proving themselves fighting the likes of Wallin and Parker, who were recently knocked out by Joe Joyce. If AJ and Deontay were to prove themselves in the true sense, they would be fighting Zhang or even Arslanbek Makhmudov.

“Maybe, and hopefully, this will be the case. It’ll be ridiculous,” said Ade.

“When people get in the same room with one another, that’s part of what happens,” said Gareth. “If we get all these people under the same umbrella, more things are going to happen.

“Wilder never game to Joshua’s fights. Joshua never went to Wilder’s fights, and they should have been doing that,” said Gareth. “The ego, the money, and the timing are lining up right now.

“If people want to knock it, they can knock it, but this is a great time for boxing in the heavyweight division, in my view, with what’s happening.”

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