Anthony Joshua has confirmed a “big fight” with Deontay Wilder is in the works for December, but hasn’t ruled out a summer fight sooner.
The former two-time world heavyweight champion returned to winning ways on April 1 with a points win over Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena.
Joshua stated immediately afterward that his goal was a quick return to the ring in June or July, but posted a post on Instagram earlier this month that suggested December would be his next fight.
There has been background talk of a clash with former WBC champion Wilder, who has told US media he would be ready to finally take on the Brit.
It was in 2019 that a highly anticipated unification fight between the pair was mooted and could finally be on the horizon with promoter Eddie Hearn set to visit Saudi Arabia next week for talks.
“In December, potentially, there’s a big fight that should be between myself and Wilder,” Joshua told an audience at the Under Armor store located inside Battersea Power Station.
“It has been a long time coming. There are many forms in motion right now, there are many things happening and forms in motion, so one step at a time.
“But it’s been a long time coming, for sure.”
There has been much speculation that Joshua could take on Wilder in Saudi Arabia in a blockbuster event where Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk would also fight in a unification fight on the same night.
Promoter Hearn said earlier on Thursday: “From our side, Anthony Joshua is ready to sign to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, subject to contract, which has never been a problem for us in Arabia because we have always found a deal. .
“It looks like, and I can’t tell you until I’m gone, that they want to make this big night of Usyk vs. Fury and Joshua vs. Wilder.
“It sounds weird, it sounds crazy, but it’s the kind of place where that could happen. We’re all in and going next week, look them in the eye and we’ll see where we get to.
“We are ready for it. I’m going to Saudi next week to have those talks, to start the process to see if it’s real or not. I know it’s real because I’ve dealt with those guys before.
“There are four fighters who will have to sign, but we are happy to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia in December.”
Joshua recently returned from a vacation with his son and other family members in Dubai and insisted that he would be happy to fight in the summer before a possible fight with Wilder in December.
The 33-year-old spoke at the launch of the first UA Next Academy in Battersea and took part in a question and answer session with an audience that lasted half an hour.
While posing for photos before and after his question-and-answer session at the Under Armor store, the former Olympian explained that the alternative to a summer fight would be spending more time with new trainer Derrick James at his Dallas gym.
Joshua added: “I’m happy to fight in July, no problem. There’s an element of where it’s at, ‘work with your trainer some more’, because I’ve changed trainers but I’m willing to fight. That’s what I do.
“If it was up to me, I’m pushing him and I’m training to show that I’m ready.
“I listen to the coaches and do what they want me to do. It’s that confidence that we don’t have to wait and keep training, but being out until December doesn’t mean I’m back in Dubai.
“He’s definitely not going to Dubai, it would just be more time to train, but July, June, let’s start working too.”