Anthony Joshua produces brilliant display to beat Otto Wallin after fifth round
Anthony Joshua delivered one of his best displays in recent memory with an impressive stoppage of Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia.
The 34-year-old made it three wins from three in 2023 after the fight was called off following a thunderous fifth round which left Wallin unable to continue.
Joshua, having already beaten Jermaine Franklin Jr by unanimous decision in April before sealing a seventh-round stoppage against Robert Helenius in August, cruised to a 27th professional career victory.
But the identity of his next opponent is unclear following Joseph Parker’s shock defeat of Deontay Wilder on the same card.
Joshua has recorded three career losses so far – beaten by Andy Ruiz in 2019 before Oleksandr Usyk defeated him twice – while the Swedish southpaw Wallin had only one career loss to date against Tyson Fury.
But Joshua came flying out of the blocks in Riyadh and inflicted damage on Wallin as early as the second round.
Joshua landed a left hook to Walin’s head, followed by a thunderous right cross and a second quick right which left Wallin frazzled and with blood leaking from his right nostril.
On to the third and Wallin’s patched-up nose was pouring again as Joshua landed another right. A strong left knocked Wallin off balance, and the former European champion was backed up on to the ropes and now with a cut to his right eye.
A steely-looking Joshua showed no sign of easing up in the fourth round as he landed a number of head and body shots on his opponent. A right hand skimmed the face of Wallin with Joshua looking comfortable and in control.
In the fifth, Joshua was throwing menacing, calculated punches with Wallin offering little to nothing in attack. Then with just over one minute of the round remaining, Joshua unleashed a superb left hook to leave Wallin stumbling towards the ropes.
Wallin managed to stay on his feet and see out the round, but the Swede’s corner said their fighter was unable to continue as Joshua celebrated a destructive win.
Asked if this felt like this was a throwback fight, Joshua said: “Not a throwback fight, just another fight. I respect Otto and I was telling everyone in the build-up I need to focus on the man in front of me because of what he brings to the table. It was just another day in the office.
“(My approach) was victory by any means. This is a treacherous business. It is like snakes and ladders, one win takes you up the ladder and a defeat takes you all the way down so I just want to be victorious for as long as I can. I am a gifted fighter who has a special gift and I am just searching for greatness.”
Reflecting on Wilder’s defeat, Joshua added: “I wasn’t watching. I focus on myself. I know how important this fight is for me. I heard Deontay lost but so what, he will come back. It shows this business is fine margins.
“Deontay, everything he has said about me, I could rip him apart right now, but I am going to take the higher ground and I hope he comes back.”
When it was suggested to him that his much-anticipated fight against Wilder could now be off the table, Joshua replied: “No. If he wants, he can come back and fight another day. It is up to him and I am sure everybody still wants to see that fight.”
Wilder, who has claimed 42 of his 43 victories by knockout, was the overwhelming favourite to beat Parker, but the New Zealander ripped up the script with a crushing victory.
Parker dominated Wilder, heavily regarded as one of the biggest punches the heavyweight division has ever seen, with a perfectly executed gameplan that left his American opponent bamboozled.
Parker was comfortably ahead on the scorecard heading into the eighth round where he delivered an overhand right and then a flurry of destructive punches as Wilder clung on.
Wilder was hurt and Parker went for the finish, but the Bronze Bomber, who last fought in October 2022 – a first-round knockout win over Robert Helenius – survived the round.
Parker landed another big left hand in the ninth, with Wilder looking increasingly vulnerable. Parker remained composed in the 10th and 11th before a desperate Wilder came out swinging in the final round looking for the knockout blow required.
But Parker never looked in danger of losing against the former WBC champion as he sealed a huge upset, with the judges scoring the most one-sided of bouts, 118-111, 118-110, 120-108 in the 31-year-old’s favour.
Published: by Radio NewsHub