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Joshua v Wallin LIVE: Eddie Hearn casts doubt on Wilder fight in post-fight interview

‘AJ’ produced a stunning display to force a corner stoppage of Otto Wallin after a disastrous night for Deontay Wilder

Alex Pattle,Jack Rathborn
Sunday 24 December 2023 17:32 GMT
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Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin face off in Riyadh ahead of fight

Anthony Joshua shone at the Day of Reckoning in Saudi Arabia to breathe new life into his pursuit of a third world heavyweight title after victory over Otto Wallin.

On a bumper card in Riyadh, as the Gulf state continues its boxing revolution, Joshua stopped the Swede after five rounds, holding up his end of the bargain ahead of a bumper 2024 for the sport in the region.

But Deontay Wilder was upset by Joseph Parker, who was dominant over 12 rounds against the lacklustre American, whose future is now in major doubt.

Elsewhere on the card, pound-for-pound star Dmitry Bivol struggled to put away Briton Lyndon Arthur and was forced to settle for a points win to retain his WBA light-heavyweight title in anticipation of an undisputed title fight against the winner of Artur Beterbiev v Callum Smith. Daniel Dubois also impressed, outclassing the controversial Jarrell Miller to produce a spectacular stoppage to revitalise his career after a crushing defeat to Joe Joyce and a stoppage to Oleksandr Usyk. Follow all the latest reaction from Riyadh - plus get the latest tips and betting advice here.

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Conor McGregor calls out Manny Pacquiao – ‘Is he a man or a mouse’

Conor McGregor repeatedly called out Manny Pacquiao for either a boxing or UFC fight as he watched Anthony Joshua’s impressive win at ‘The Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh.

McGregor has not fought since suffering a broken leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021, but he returned to the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (Usada) testing pool in October to potentially get the wheels in motion for a return to the octagon.

It was announced back in February that McGregor, 35, would fight Michael Chandler this year, but that failed to materialise as the wait for the Irishman – who has also previously fought Pacquiao’s great rival Floyd Mayweather in a boxing bout – to return to combat sports goes on.

Sat next to a bemused-looking Cristiano Ronaldo at ringside for the card which included Joshua’s dominant win over Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder’s stunning defeat to Joseph Parker, McGregor ranted about potentially facing Pacquiao – with the rules, weight class and Pacquiao’s bravery apparently all issues of contention.

Conor McGregor calls out Manny Pacquiao – ‘Is he a man or a mouse’

McGregor said he would be happy to fight Pacquiao in a boxing ring as his much talked-about return to UFC action continues to be delayed

Luke Baker24 December 2023 12:33
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Eddie Hearn hits out at Deontay Wilder for ‘ruining plans’ of Anthony Joshua super fight

Eddie Hearn has hit out at Deontay Wilder for “ruining the plans” of a proposed heavyweight super-fight between Wilder and Anthony Joshua in 2024 after the American suffered a stunning defeat to Joseph Parker.

On a stacked card at ‘The Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh, the 38-year-old Wilder was stunningly demolished by Parker in a 118-111, 118-110, 120-108 unanimous decision loss before Joshua impressed across five dominant rounds against Otto Wallin to force a corner stoppage.

It was an evening that reignited heavyweight boxing after a forgettable 2023 for the sport’s glamour division but it did disrupt plans for the long-anticipated match-up between Joshua and Wilder.

Eddie Hearn hits out at Deontay Wilder for ‘ruining plans’ of Anthony Joshua fight

Hearn says Wilder’s stunning loss to Joseph Parker in ‘the most one-sided heavyweight fight I’ve seen’ scuppered the plans for a 2024 super-fight against AJ

Luke Baker24 December 2023 10:45
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Anthony Joshua earns bittersweet win over Otto Wallin after Deontay Wilder’s costly failure

The sweetness was contained in the controlled aggression that “AJ” accessed across five rounds against Otto Wallin, in the intelligent, improved way in which he closed distance against a southpaw, and in the ease of this first fight under Ben Davison. That sweetness also came courtesy of Joshua’s ability to outperform and overshadow Deontay Wilder, whose failure against Joseph Parker was a costly one, just minutes before AJ dismissed Wallin.

The bitterness, however, was brought about by Wilder’s failure itself, one that might have cost the American and his distant rival a career-defining contest and generational wealth.

Read Alex Pattle’s full report from AJ’s bittersweet night in Riyadh:

Anthony Joshua earns bittersweet win over Wallin after Wilder’s costly failure

Wallin’s team called off the bout after round five, moments after Wilder was beaten by Joseph Parker in the same ring

Luke Baker24 December 2023 10:00
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Welcome back, Big Lad! Heavyweight boxing finally returns to life

Anthony Joshua looked like Anthony Joshua when he got in the ring two hours after midnight in Riyadh on Saturday night.

Joshua was scheduled for 12 rounds in the main event as part of the Day of Reckoning, against Sweden’s Otto Wallin. There were seven other fights packed with blood, shocks and nine knockdowns. Ten of the world’s top 20 heavyweights were on the remarkable bill.

At the end of five rounds, Wallin was pulled out; he had been hurt, his nose was broken, and Joshua had chased him all over the ring. It was meant to be a hard fight, a 50-50 fight, but instead, a mobile, free, relaxed and nasty Joshua entered the ring and took care of business. And he also changed, in five fun rounds, the heavyweight landscape. Joshua is back in the heavyweight game and this version is smarter than the old version.

Read Steve Bunce’s column from Riyadh, on the night that heavyweight boxing finally returned to its best:

Welcome back, Big Lad! Heavyweight boxing finally returns to its best

In on bold night, Anthony Joshua’s brilliant win and Deontay Wilder’s stunning defeat helped boxing’s glamour division shine again after a year to forget

Luke Baker24 December 2023 09:23
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Anthony Joshua’s next fight revealed by Eddie Hearn after win over Otto Wallin

Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua will fight Filip Hrgovic next after a sensational win against Otto Wallin.

‘AJ’ was excellent across five punishing rounds in Saudi Arabia on the Day of Reckoning card in Riyadh, busting up the Swede’s face and eventually forcing a corner stoppage.

Joshua had signed to fight Deontay Wilder next in a super fight, but the American was stunned by Joseph Parker, dropping a points decision across 12 lacklustre rounds.

Anthony Joshua’s next fight revealed by Eddie Hearn after win over Otto Wallin

‘AJ’ produced a stunning display to force a corner stoppage of Otto Wallin after a disastrous night for Deontay Wilder

Jack Rathborn24 December 2023 00:23
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Eddie Hearn reacts to Anthony Joshua victory and reveals next fight

"He's back, he's destroying people in sparring, I believe he's the best heavyweight in the world. It was a punch-perfect performance. He dispatched him.

“It was a stunning performance, in this mindset and this team, I think he’s unbeatable.

“2024 will be a massive year for him. It was a tough decision, between the championship and Wilder, we signed for Wilder, he lost, that’s OK. Maybe it’s a blessing. This guy is about championships, he wants to become a three-time world champion. Wallin was No 2. It’ll be Hrgovic vs AJ for the world title. I’m so happy to see him smiling and performing so well.

“He’s a dangerous man in that mood. He’s back.”

Jack Rathborn24 December 2023 00:02
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Anthony Joshua reacts to victory over Otto Wallin

“I wasn’t watching, I focus on myself, let’s do a tally of how many people mention my name, I focus on myself. I heard Deontay lost, so what, he’ll come back.

“It shows there are fine margins in this business. I’m not ducking. Everything he [Deontay] said about me, I could rip him apart now, but I’ll take the higher ground.

“No, look at what Dubois did this evening, you can do anything, don’t give up, if he wants, he can come back. I’m sure everybody wants to see that fight.

“One step at a time, every fight leads to the final destination. Keep on praying, working hard. I’m on a journey, stay focused, let’s see how far I can take it.”

Jack Rathborn23 December 2023 23:58
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Anthony Joshua reacts to victory over Otto Wallin

“I respect Otto, I know what he brings to the table, not a throwback, no, another day at the office,” says Joshua.

“Victory by any means, when I pray, every cell and my spirit is leading to victory. It’s a treacherous business.

“It’s like snakes and ladders, one win gets you up the ladder, one defeat puts you straight down. I was looking on the roster of heavyweights on this card, I fought Otto, Parker, I was going to fight Baby Miller. I’ve sparred Agit... I have worked hard. All that history with Otto paid off today.

“I’m a gifted fighter, I work extremely hard. I’m searching for greatness. I’m not hopping around, Ben Davison is a really good addition to the group. They’ve helped me develop in a short space of time.”

Jack Rathborn23 December 2023 23:55
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Anthony Joshua stops Otto Wallin in crunch heavyweight contest

Joshua stops Wallin after five rounds!

Wallin’s corner throw in the towel. The Swede’s nose is likely broken and his corner has seen enough.

Very impressive from Joshua, that, “I’m back!” he shouts.

Jack Rathborn23 December 2023 23:48
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Anthony Joshua fights Otto Wallin in crunch heavyweight contest

Round 5

“This is the AJ of old, almost,” says Darren Barker.

Joshua in complete control, a right hand landing and Wallin scrambling to stay in this one. His own straight left falling short when he does come inside.

Wallin in big trouble! Sent sprawling across the ring, Joshua poised to push for a stoppage.

Wallin looks dazed and his nose could be broken. Wallin went for the straight left and got countered by a right-left combo!

Jack Rathborn23 December 2023 23:45

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