Otto Wallin has emerged as a potential opponent for Anthony Joshua’s first fight of 2023.
The former unified champion and British superstar finds himself out of the heavyweight title picture for the first time in around eight years, having lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk.
As Usyk moves towards an undisputed bout with Tyson Fury, ‘AJ’ has time to build himself back from the recent defeats and earn a position to challenge for the championship in the future.
It’s no secret that his team have been speaking to many potential opponents for a ring return targeted for April – one of which is Otto Wallin (24-1, 14 KOs).
In an interview via Ice 36, Wallin’s manager, Dmitry Salita, spoke positively of the tentative negotiations with Eddie Hearn for a fight between the pair.
“Eddie Hearn and I have discussed Otto and Joshua potentially taking place and I’m waiting to see if an offer will materialise. Eddie’s talking about a three-fight plan for AJ in 2023 to build him back up after defeats to Usyk.
Eddie says he wants a top 15 opponent in spring. If they want a credible challenge, a familiar name, and a fighter ranked highly by the organisations – Otto Wallin fits that description perfectly.
A fight is a big possibility. Otto almost stopped the best heavyweight in the world and Joshua’s countryman, Tyson Fury, and is quietly confident of going one better against AJ if we can get the fight signed.”
Wallin is best known to British fans for his decision loss to Fury. Despite losing widely on all three judges’ scorecards, the Swedish fighter caused a cut above Fury’s left eye that could have potentially ended proceedings early.
The now-champion had to get 47 stitches to repair the damage.
Wallin and his team have used it as a calling card for big fights in the division, and with four wins since that sole loss, the southpaw may be a perfect match for Anthony Joshua.
With Eddie Hearn’s plans for ‘AJ’ seeing one fight take place before a rematch against Dillian Whyte and a mega fight with either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder, Wallin just may fill that space – and he’ll do everything he can to disrupt the comeback.