Deontay Wilder is holding talks for a fight in Saudi Arabia on December 23, with reports suggesting that Anthony Joshua could appear on the same bill ahead of a potential fight in 2024.
Negotiations had been held earlier this year for a long-awaited fight between the heavyweight rivals and Wilder this week reiterated his desire to finally share the ring with Joshua.
But Wilder is now set to return against an unnamed opponent next month, while Joshua is also expected to return to action in a separate fight in the Middle East on the same show.
Wilder has been absent from the ring for over a year since an explosive first-round knockout win over Robert Helenius last October.
Joshua also faced Helenius in his last fight, and it ended in a seventh-round knockout win this August.
If they both emerge victorious, Wilder and Joshua could settle their long-running rivalry next year.
Joshua also hopes to secure a future fight with British rival Tyson Fury, who preserved his unbeaten record with a hard-fought split decision win over former UFC champion Francis Ngannou last month.
Asked by the BBC’s Louis Theroux how he’d feel to fight and beat Fury, Joshua replied, “I’d be over the moon,” before adding: “It’s a challenge, and one I’d be up for.”
Fury is set for an undisputed fight against Oleksandr Usyk next, with Top Rank president Todd DuBoef telling Sky Sports earlier this month the “heavy lifting” for the deal has been done.
Watch Adam Azim challenge Franck Petitjean for the European super-lightweight title and Tyler Denny take on Matteo Signani for the European middleweight belt, live on Sky Sports Arena on Saturday November 18.