Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder, former heavyweight champions, will go head-to-head in a much-anticipated bout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23. The clash between the ex-WBO titlist Parker (33-3, 23 KOs) and the former WBC ruler Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) will serve as the co-main event, accompanying the headline bout featuring Britain's Anthony Joshua against Swede Otto Wallin.
Parker, a 31-year-old New Zealander, expressed his excitement about the upcoming fight, emphasizing his readiness for the challenge. Despite riding a three-fight winning streak this year, Parker recognizes the significance of facing Wilder, a formidable opponent known for his devastating knockout power.
"I've never shied away from big fights and big opportunities. And this fight with Wilder, I'm ready for it," said Parker.
The co-main event is set to be a swift turnaround for Parker, who recently secured victories against opponents of a different caliber. Notably, Parker will be more familiar with the Riyadh venue, having stopped Canadian journeyman Simon Kean there last month.
Wilder, on the other hand, returns to the ring after over a year since his last bout, a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius. The 38-year-old, known for his powerful punches, presents a formidable challenge for Parker. The Kiwi boxer aims to leverage his recent activity and gain insight into overcoming Wilder from his training partner and friend Tyson Fury, who has two stoppage wins and a disputed draw against Wilder.
"I'm going to lean on Tyson Fury in this camp," stated Parker, highlighting the collaborative effort to prepare for the upcoming challenge.
Parker recognizes the importance of speed and movement against Wilder, who has faced difficulties against slick boxers in the past. Despite entering the contest as an underdog, an upset victory for Parker would mark a significant achievement in his professional career.
Wilder, known for his knockout prowess, emphasized his commitment to delivering excitement in the heavyweight division. "When people come to see heavyweight boxing, they come to see excitement. But most of all, they come to see knockouts. And one thing's for sure: when I come, that's what I come to deliver," warned Wilder.
As the sands of Riyadh prepare to witness this heavyweight showdown, the anticipation builds for a thrilling night of boxing on December 23. The clash between Parker and Wilder promises to be a defining moment in the careers of both fighters, with the world eagerly awaiting the outcome of this high-stakes battle in the desert.