Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder: WBC president reveals mandatory plans ahead of rumoured fight
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is looking at the Day of Reckoning as part of an elimination tournament to decide a mandatory challenger.
On December 23 in Saudi Arabia, Deontay Wilder faces Joseph Parker, while Anthony Joshua’s fight with Otto Wallin tops the bill.
Should the two favourites emerge victorious, many expect Joshua vs. Wilder finally to be made, some time in early 2024.
That would see two former champions go at it, with Sulaiman considering the three fights to be a way to decide a mandatory for the WBC strap.
However, whoever wins that fight might have some time to wait for a title challenge.
One the December 23 bill is over, eyes will turn to Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, who look set to resolve the heavyweight undisputed status in 2024, with a rematch likely to be part of any deal.
"We've been waiting and pushing and mediating and encouraging everyone to try to make this happen," Sulaiman told Sky Sports about the upcoming Fury vs. Usyk match-up.
"When Wilder was champion there were a couple of occasions where Wilder-Joshua came very close. The WBC left that window without interfering with anything that could get in the way. Then with Tyson Fury, he was ready to fight Joshua, then Usyk.
"The problem that could happen is a mandatory contender," he added. "We did order Wilder against [Andy] Ruiz, which was a tremendous fight, to find a mandatory contender.
"That fight didn't take place. So the WBC board of governors has approved Fury against Usyk in February and then the rematch so there will not be anything in the way, as far as the WBC, for both fights to take place."
Discussing Day of Reckoning, he explained how he sees the permutations playing out.
"In itself it is a natural WBC elimination tournament. You have Wilder, No 1, Joshua, you have Parker, you have Otto Wallin, all those are highly ranked in the WBC. After December 23 we're going to see a different picture in the rankings," he said.
"It looks like Wilder and Joshua are on a collision course. That could very well be a final elimination to determine a mandatory contender for the WBC title.
"Unbelievable. That would be a dream come true for the fans," Sulaiman said.
"I am very happy to see the promoters collaborating, the managers, the fighters. Of course there's big money involved but you have to make it.
"You can dream of things, we have been dreaming for this and this is the perfect moment to get into another era of boxing. So we will be supporting as much as we can."