Riyadh, November 23, 2023 – Anthony Joshua is gearing up for a pivotal showdown against the Swedish contender Otto Wallin on December 23 in Saudi Arabia. This fight, occurring on the same bill as Deontay Wilder’s bout against Joseph Parker, holds significant risks and potential career-defining consequences for Joshua.
The Risk Factor
Joshua, a two-time unified heavyweight champion, is currently on a two-fight win streak after facing defeats against Oleksandr Usyk. His latest victory was a knockout win over Robert Helenius. On the other hand, his opponent, Wallin, is known for his impressive performance against Tyson Fury in 2019 and is on a six-fight win streak.
Otto Wallin, fighting from the southpaw stance like Usyk, has proven his resilience and skill, particularly in his close-fought points loss to Fury. This match-up thus presents a considerable challenge for Joshua. Wallin’s confidence is apparent, as he believes Joshua has passed his peak and is prepared to end his career with a victory in this fight.
Implications of a Loss
A loss for Joshua in this match could be highly detrimental to his career trajectory. Having previously lost his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight belts to Usyk in 2021 and failing in their rematch the following year, another defeat could significantly dampen his aspirations for regaining his former glory and world champion status.
Who Will Anthony Joshua Fight If He Beats Wallin?
Conversely, a win for Joshua could pave the way for a much-anticipated showdown with Deontay Wilder in 2024. Both fighters are expected to face each other next year, provided they emerge victorious in their respective bouts in Riyadh. This potential fight is seen as a massive event in the boxing world.
Despite the risks, Joshua remains confident and views this fight as a stepping stone towards becoming a three-time heavyweight champion. He sees Wallin as the first obstacle in his vision to regain his peak form and prestige in the heavyweight division. His promoter, Eddie Hearn, echoes this sentiment, asserting that Joshua’s best chapter is still to be written and anticipating a destructive performance from him in the upcoming fight.
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