ANTHONY JOSHUA will top the bill of a Christmas cracker of short-notice Saudi fight card against Otto Wallin.
Saudi boxing chiefs were set to host a historic undisputed heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on December 23.
But Team Fury pulled the plug on the dust-up following The Gypsy King’s lacklustre display in his controversial win over former UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou last month.
Saudi boxing chiefs spent a pretty penny reserving December 23 for the undisputed fight and remained hellbent on holding a big event on the date following Fury’s withdrawal.
And they’ve pulled an absolute rabbit from the hat with just over five weeks to go until fight night.
Former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua will bid to continue his career revival against Swedish slugger Wallin.
Wallin, 32, took Fury all the way in their September 2019 showdown but suffered a unanimous decision defeat.
Joshua and Wallin are no strangers to one another having sparred several times. The clash of former sparring partners is just the tip of the incredible short-notice iceberg of a card put on by the Saudis.
Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will also be in action, making his return to the ring after 14 months on the sidelines.
He will meet another former champion in Joseph Parker, who will look to pick up his second win in The Kingdom in as many months.
Two more Brits will also be in action in the Riyadh Rumble.
Former interim WBA heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois will look to bounce back from his August defeat to Usyk against Jarrell Miller.
Miller’s clash with Triple D will be his first major fight since he tested positive for a cocktail of performance-enhancing drugs ahead of his cancelled 2019 fight with AJ.
Lyndon Arthur will also be in action after landing an unlikely crack at light-heavyweight gold.
‘King’ Arthur will bid to pull off an unlikely upset against Russian wrecking machine Dmitry Bivol and bring the WBA’s 175lbs title back to the UK.
Heavyweight prospects Makhmudov and Hrgovic will bid to continue their respective climbs up the ranks with a win on the blockbuster card.
Saudi boxing chiefs, and indeed fight fans around the world, will be hoping Joshua and Wilder get through their respective bouts.
The duo were set to throw down next month before their long-awaited showdown collapsed.
But they’re undoubtedly trying to tee up a mouthwatering fight night face-off and multi-million-pound showdown by having them fight on the same card.
The pair — who were on course for an undisputed showdown when they held all the heavyweight marbles five years ago — are set to go face-to-face with one another at a London press conference tonight.
Joshua, 34, has seldom spoken about the prospect of finally getting his hands on the American
Wilder, on the other hand, has been extremely vocal about wanting to knock out the Watford warrior.
The Bronze Bomber told Blue Blood Sports TV: “I just don’t know what’s up with Joshua, bro.
“Maybe I’m gonna have to go to England and sit down with him on some real man s***.
“I don’t want him to feel like I have anything against him, but I know he’s afraid of me.
“Joshua — me and you is the biggest fight in the world bro, what are you doing?
“I really wanna talk to that dude.” — The Sun.