Anthony Joshua put in a clinical performance to force a corner retirement from Otto Wallin in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua entered the ring off the back of a knockout victory over Robert Helenius, Wallin with a split decision against Murat Gassiev. The pair have fought in the amateurs and sparred as pros, but both have come along way since either.
In ‘AJ’s corner was Ben Davison – the rising British coach who guided Tyson Fury to a nervy victory over Wallin back in 2019. For Wallin, former world champion Joey Gamache.
Joshua jabbed and feinted his way to establish control in the first, with the underdog not looking as confident he had during fight week. The Brit showed good movement in the second as Wallin – with a busted nose – continued to paw out his jab.
Wallin scored more in the third but Joshua moved through the gears a little and followed up his jab with straights and hooks, setting the Swede off balance at one stage. He had his man bleeding from the eye now, too.
Joshua kept on the front foot and refused to be frustrated by Wallin, who clearly wanted him to be. ‘AJ’s big shots were getting closer, and Wallin didn’t have the power to put him off.
In the fifth Joshua unleashed a one-two that staggered Wallin into the ropes. Another flurry on the bell sent Wallin back to his stool deflated, and Gamache instructed the referee to stop the fight.
Anthony Joshua promised blood and bruises, and he delivered on both. The first man to stop Otto Wallin – something one Tyson Fury couldn’t manage.
So the Brit delivered on his end of the bargain, but the US’ Deontay Wilder lost to Joseph Parker over the distance. What next? Likely Filip Hrgovic.