Anthony Joshua admits career is over if he loses to Otto Wallin on Saturday

By Sports Desk December 21, 2023

Anthony Joshua admits “there is no future” if he fails to beat Otto Wallin on the “Day of Reckoning” in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The two-time world champion is aiming to win his third fight of 2023 after already gaining victories over Jermaine Franklin Jr and Robert Helenius earlier in the year as he looks to step back to the top of the heavyweight division.

Joshua has three career defeats to date, Andy Ruiz Jr inflicted his first loss in 2019 before Oleksandr Usyk beat him for the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on two occasions.

The 34-year-old understands that defeat could be damaging for his future in the sport.

He told a press conference: “I know where I’m going in my life but I’ve got to say this is a checkpoint and if I don’t get past this, there is no future so I’m fully locked in to Otto Wallin and doing the job.

“Pure focus on Saturday, that’s with my heart, soul and every cell in my body is focused on Otto Wallin and knowing what I can do.”

Joshua has looked focused in the build-up to the fight and explained he only has one thing on his mind.

He added: “I’m looking to do a good job and what more can I say, I will do a good job.

“I’m here to fight, I’m not here to party, I want to perform well and put that pressure on myself because I want to win, I have that urge to win and want to hurt my opponent as well.”

Swedish fighter Wallin, 33, has just one career defeat to his name, narrowly losing to Tyson Fury in 2019 but has won all six of his fights since.

Wallin vows to win the fight on Saturday and does not think it will be an ‘upset’ if he does so.

He said: “Its a big fight and big opportunity I’ve worked hard to be here and now it’s time to enjoy the moment, win the fight and move on.

“I’m going to win the fight and it shouldn’t be an upset, it’s natural and it’s my time, I’m happy to be here. I’m just trying to be myself, people say I talk a lot but I just answer them with what I feel, and I’m not trying to make anything up its the truth if people don’t like it fine, but its true.”

Deontay Wilder takes on Joseph Parker in the co-main event of the evening on a card which features eight fights.

Wilder has claimed 42 of his 43 victories by the way of knockout and insists he will do the same on Saturday.

He said: “I’ve come here to do what I do best, it’s something that comes naturally and I’m looking to do it again. Don’t blink baby, bam good night.

“I come to do what I do best, and that’s what the fans want to see, no one wants to see a 12-round fight and we are heavyweights and hard hitters, they wanna see us fight and then afterwards go party. Nowadays my name is called doctor sleep.”

Parker promised to put on a display for those in attendance.

He added: “I’ve had a great camp and coming into this fight with a great game plan, great strategy and respect to Wilder but I’m here to do a job and I’m here to win.

“We have a great camp and the people involved but when I get out there I’m going to put on a display.”

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    Tyson Fury's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk will take place in Riyadh on December 21, according to the chair of Saudi Arabia's general entertainment authority Turki Alalshikh.

    Earlier this month, Usyk beat Fury by virtue of a split decision to become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis held the WBC, WBA and IBF belts from November 1999 to April 2000.

    It was the first defeat of Fury's professional career, with two judges scoring the fight 115-112 and 114-113 in favour of Usyk, and the third scoring it 114-113 to Fury.

    Fury subsequently described it as "one of the daftest decisions in boxing" and said a second bout would take place in October, with both fighters confirmed as holding a rematch clause in advance of the first fight.

    That date has now been pushed back, but Fury will get a chance to avenge his loss in December.

    In a post on X on Wednesday, Alalshikh wrote: "The rematch... is now scheduled on the 21 of December 2024 during Riyadh Season.

    "The world will watch another historical fight again. Our commitment to boxing fans continues. We hope you enjoy it."

    On Tuesday, Fury's promoter Frank Warren told Sky Sports he was confident the Gypsy King would bounce back. 

    "I spoke to him [Fury] after the fight and obviously when he got back just to make sure he's okay. He was very disappointed but very philosophical," Warren said.

    "It was a fabulous fight, two absolute gladiators who didn't leave anything in the ring in an epic fight, the most important fight of the 21st century. It was a very, very close fight and I think it will be an even bigger one next time."

  • 'I believe I won' - Fury loses historic undisputed championship to Usyk 'I believe I won' - Fury loses historic undisputed championship to Usyk

    Tyson Fury voiced his frustration after suffering the first defeat of his career to Oleksandr Usyk in their undisputed world heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia.

    Usyk won by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, and the first to unite all four belts.

    The scorecards read 115-112 and 114-113 in favour of Usyk, while a third judge scored 114-113 to Fury.

    After an even start, the momentum shifted in a brilliant ninth round for the Ukrainian as he caught Fury with a left hook, forcing the referee to give him a standing count before the bell saved him from a further onslaught.

    A defiant Fury was not happy with the result, suggesting that Usyk received a sympathy vote from the judges.

    "I believe I won that fight," he said in the ring. "I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority.

    "His country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight, in my opinion.

    "It was one of the daftest decisions in boxing. We run it back in October. I'm not going to sit here and cry and make excuses."

    Usyk remained undefeated as he took Fury’s WBC belt to add to his WBA, WBO and IBF collection.

    "Thank you so much for my team. It's a big opportunity for my family, for my country," an emotional Usyk said afterwards. "I'm very happy.

    "My people will be very happy. I think it's a big win, not only for me, it's a big win for my country, for soldiers who now defend my country.

    "I think my father now is watching over me and is very happy. Dad, I love you. I can, you told me I can."

  • John Fury appears to headbutt member of Team Usyk ahead of undisputed bout John Fury appears to headbutt member of Team Usyk ahead of undisputed bout

    Tyson Fury's father John Fury was left with a nasty cut on his face after appearing to headbutt a member of Oleksandr Usyk's entourage at a pre-fight media day on Monday.

    WBC belt-holder Fury will face Usyk for the undisputed world heavyweight title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with both men defending undefeated professional records.

    With both fighters and their camps present at a hotel in the city for media duties on Monday, the build-up to their bout – the most eagerly anticipated in the heavyweight division in recent years – got off to a chaotic start.

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