By: Sean Crose
Former heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua, 26-3, stepped into the ring in Saudi Arabia Saturday to battle the man who once gave Tyson Fury a true run for Fury’s money, the 26-1 Otto Wallin. Their heavyweight contest, scheduled for twelve, brought with it a lot of questions, most of them regarding Joshua, who had lost two of his last three fights. Joshua was determined to show he still had the “it” factor which had, until recently, earned him titles, esteem, adoration, and an enormous amount of money. Wallin, on the other hand, was looking for an enormous victory to boost his reputation and career.
Both fighters were patient in the first, positioning themselves and sticking out their jabs. Wilder, however, controlled the ring and for the most part appeared to be stronger than Wallin. Joshua’s punches were crisp and strong in the second, a round he seemed well in control of. In the third it was obvious that Joshua was simply too strong for his man. When he landed clean, Wallin – whose face was starting to look bloody – would fee it. Indeed, Joshua appeared very good in the fourth, controlled, at easy, and accurate. He did, in fact, look like the Joshua of old.
Joshua nailed Wallin with a thunderous straight right in the fifth. Wallin survived the round, but every shot Joshua landed seemed to damage a part of the man. Wallin’s corner smartly stopped the fight in between rounds, and with good reason. Wallin was on the verge of a receiving a terrible beating. “What I want to do is just be victorious as long as I can,” Joshua said in the post fight interview. “I’m searching for greatness, trying to improve.”
Joshua was then asked about Deontay Wilder, who he was supposed to fight in March, but who had lost to Joseph Parker earlier in the evening. “I’m going to take the higher ground,” said Joshua, “and I hope he (Wilder) comes back.”
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