Tyson Fury has scotched speculation of an impending retirement from boxing as he mapped out a five-fight plan, including a couple of showdowns against British rival Anthony Joshua.

Unfounded scrutiny about the legitimacy of an eye injury that caused his fight against Oleksandr Usyk to be put back to May 18 led to suggestions Fury may have been contemplating hanging up his gloves.

But Fury, who has flirted with retiring several times during his professional career, reaffirmed his commitment to fighting Usyk in Riyadh, where all four major world titles are set to be on the line.

Fury anticipates a rematch with the Ukrainian in another undisputed world heavyweight title fight before one or possibly two fights against Joshua and then a return bout versus Francis Ngannou.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tyson Fury (@tysonfury)

 

“I keep hearing talk of people saying I should retire or I’m going to retire soon or whatever,” Fury said on his Instagram, showing stitches above his eye.

“I ain’t retiring – I’ve got two fights with Usyk for the undisputed, twice.

“Then I’m going to fight AJ at least once, maybe twice, if there’s a rematch – if he wants one after the first battering I give him. Then I’m going to fight Ngannou again.

“That’s just the start. There’s five fights for you to whet your appetite. I ain’t going nowhere; I’m 35-years-old and in the prime of my life.”

In his most recent bout in October, Fury (34-0-1, 24KOs) was knocked down but eked out a controversial split points win over Ngannou, who was boxing professionally for the first time.

Just over a fortnight before a much-anticipated bout against Usyk, Fury had to pull the plug because of a cut above his right eye which he sustained in sparring and required “significant stitching”.

But organisers have worked efficiently to rearrange the contest between WBC champion Fury and WBA, IBF and WBO titlist Usyk which will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.

Anthony Joshua will not simply bulldoze his way through Francis Ngannou and must seek to wear out the mixed martial artist-turned-boxer before landing any knockout blow, according to Eddie Hearn.

Ngannou may have lost the element of surprise after a staggering professional boxing debut last October when the former UFC heavyweight champion knocked down Tyson Fury before losing a debatable decision.

He will look to prove his performance was no fluke on March 8 against Joshua, who hopes to put himself in the shop window for a crack at British compatriot Fury or a trilogy meeting against Oleksandr Usyk.

But promoter Hearn thinks Ngannou poses a sizeable challenge despite his novice status and is unlikely to fold as so many of Joshua’s past opponents have done when confronted by his frightening punch power.

“It’s definitely a fight with a lot of jeopardy,” Hearn told the PA news agency. “You really have to be on your guard for this fight, you’ve got to be razor-sharp.

“Francis has surprised everybody. He’s one stubborn competitor and it’s not going to be easy, you’ll have to knock him down and keep banging and banging and banging away.

“This isn’t going to be one hit on the chin, clearly he’s an immovable object with a fantastic chin and big, big, big power.

“You’ve got to be really smart in this fight – don’t get hit, break him down and hopefully he’ll go over like a big tower and we can just move on.”

The fight against Ngannou in Riyadh will be a fourth in the space of 11 months for Joshua (27-3, 24KOs), who is trying to boost his hopes of becoming a three-time world heavyweight champion.

He is therefore positioning himself as first in line to face the winner of the rearranged clash between WBC champion and long-time rival Fury and Usyk, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion who has beaten Joshua twice.

The pair go head-to-head on May 18 in the first undisputed world heavyweight title fight of the four-belt era and Hearn is keeping his fingers crossed it is Fury who prevails.

“I really want Fury to win his fight because if AJ can do a job on Ngannou, it just sets up the biggest fight in the history of the sport in my opinion,” Hearn added.

Conor Benn must be allowed to fight again in Britain to fill the void left by Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Benn follows in the footsteps of father Nigel by headlining in Las Vegas on Saturday but the two failed tests he returned for a banned drug in October 2022 continue to have consequences for his career.

While Benn, who has always insisted he is innocent of wrongdoing, had a provisional suspension lifted last July, UK Anti-Doping and the British Boxing Board of Control launched an appeal against the decision.

Hearn expects that to take place this month and hopes a favourable outcome can see Benn granted a licence to fight in the UK again, amid a lull in major fights in British boxing in the last 12 months.

“When you talk about the biggest names in British boxing, you’ve got Fury and AJ but outside of those two, Conor’s right there,” Hearn told the PA news agency.

“With a lot of the big fights and big names moving internationally at the moment, we really need Conor Benn back in the UK. We want this appeal done and dusted to start letting him fill up arenas in the UK.

“He’s young enough to fly that flag for the next couple of years and we need that, British boxing needs it. The toughest thing is not having a plan, a vision or a schedule in terms of what’s going to happen.

“We’re coming to the end of that whole saga now, I’m sure there’s still a couple of bumps in the road but it just feels like now we’re getting some momentum.”

Benn tested positive for female fertility drug clomifene ahead of a bout against Chris Eubank Jr that was ultimately scrapped and his career has been in limbo for much of the last 18 months.

“I think there is a huge amount of frustration in him,” Hearn said. “He still gets accusations and criticism. It’s an incredible amount of someone’s life that he’s had to go through those adversities.”

Even if Benn cannot fight on home soil yet, Hearn is catering to that audience this weekend as the main event against Peter Dobson at the Cosmopolitan will start around 10:30pm in the UK – 2:30pm local time.

This is Benn’s second fight under US jurisdiction, having made a low-key return by outpointing Rodolfo Orozco last September to extend his unbeaten professional record to 22 wins from as many fights.

Hearn is optimistic of arranging a big fight against Eubank Jr, Kell Brook or Liam Smith in late April or early May but recognises Dobson (16-0, 9KOs) could leave those best-laid plans in tatters.

“We took this fight to stay active but he’s calling out all the big names, we want all the big names and we have to deliver,” Hearn said.

“It’s much easier to deliver those fights in the UK because you know you’re going to fill stadiums and arenas. All of it is irrelevant without victory on Saturday, though.”

Nigel Benn fought twice in Sin City, winning both by first-round stoppage, with victory in 1990 over Iran Barkley especially impressive as the American went on to claim world titles in two weight classes.

“There are so many similarities between Conor and Nigel, particularly in the way they fight – it’s identical,” Hearn added. “I see it so clearly, even when I’m talking to him, he is his father’s son.

“That same violence and ruthless streak that Nigel brought to the ring, Conor does as well. You’ll see that in bundles on Saturday.”

Frank Warren believes Francis Ngannou can cause an upset by defeating Anthony Joshua ahead of their heavyweight showdown in Saudi Arabia on March 8.

Briton Joshua returns to action following December’s impressive stoppage over Sweden’s Otto Wallin as he continues his bid on becoming a three-time world champion against mixed martial arts star Ngannou in a 10-round bout.

Queensbury promoter Warren, whose prize fighter Tyson Fury came back from an early knockdown to beat Ngannou in controversial fashion in October, believes Joshua should be wary of his opponent’s punch power.

Speaking to the PA news agency at the launch of Queensbury’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ boxing card, Warren said: “Joshua’s come into this after his last fight against Wallin. He’ll be a big favourite going in, but I know that if he gets caught on the whiskers then this fella (Ngannou) could cause a massive upset because he can whack.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how he takes the fight and to see if he fights on the outside or the inside. Ngannou’s game is getting on the inside, he’s a big man, he’s strong.

“I’m intrigued to see what Ngannou’s learnt from his last fight.”

Joshua showed signs of being back to his best with last month’s ruthless victory over Wallin, which marked his third victory of 2023 following wins against Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius.

But Warren believes Ngannou has the tools to exploit AJ’s “wealth” of weaknesses in Riyadh.

“If I’m fighting AJ, what am I looking to do? I’d look to exploit his weaknesses and there’s a wealth of that which we’ve seen,” Warren added. “We’ve seen his weaknesses in that first fight against Tubby the Tuba (defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019).

“Also the two fights to Oleksandr Usyk, we can see what they are. People have seen him wobble a few times in fights, that happens with him. I’m not saying there’s a confidence issue, but there wasn’t that where he was such an emphatic fighter.

“I think he’s changed. He’s changed his style a bit, which he should do. His new trainer (Ben Davison) has brought some momentum to him, but he’s going to have a fight on his hand.”

Nathan Heaney and Joe Joyce are among the fighters on the ‘Magnficent Seven’ card in Birmingham on March 16, and Warren is expecting a competitive night of action.

He said: “The last one we did I think was British promotion of the year. They were great fights, competitive fights and it’s a similar situation here. We have young and established fighters who are all in competitive fights.

“This is something we will now do on a regular basis. They will all be looking these guys to outdo each other because someone wants to come through as the eye catching fight.”

Anthony Joshua moved closer to regaining a version of the world heavyweight title after his crushing win over Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia on Friday night.

Joshua, who has been without a belt since his loss to Oleksandr Usyk in October last year, dominated the 33-year-old Swede with a performance that suggested he is back to his destructive best.

Joshua had been slated to meet former champion Deontay Wilder in his next bout but, after the American was defeated by Joseph Parker, the Londoner’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed he will now target a fight against hard-hitting Croatian Filip Hrgovic.

Hrgovic is mandatory challenger for the IBF title currently held by Usyk, but the assumption is the Ukrainian will relinquish or lose the belt when he invokes a rematch clause following his undisputed fight against Tyson Fury in February.

Hearn said: “It was a tough decision between the championship and Deontay Wilder. We signed for Deontay Wilder but he lost tonight and maybe that’s a blessing, because really this guy is about championships.

“It’s going to be Hrgovic against AJ for the world title. I’m so happy to see him smiling and performing so well.

“He’s a dangerous man when he’s in that kind of mood, and 2024 is going to be very interesting and every heavyweight should be on notice – he’s back.”

Hrgovic, who needed less than two minutes to outclass Mark de Mori on the Riyadh undercard, has won all 17 of his professional fights, all but three inside the distance.

He is currently the mandatory challenger for a shot at the version of the belt held by Usyk, and must be given his shot within a time period that makes it impossible to fit in the prospective Fury-Usyk rematch.

Victory would make Joshua a three-time holder of a heavyweight title belt, having lost previous versions in defeat to Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr.

Coming after back-to-back defeats to the Ukrainian, Joshua’s win over Wallin capped a satisfying 2023 in which he beat Jermaine Franklin Jr by unanimous decision in April before sealing a seventh-round stoppage against Robert Helenius in August.

While Joshua still has much to do to prove he belongs in the same category as Usyk and Fury, Hearn has no doubts that his win over Wallin will pave the way for him to prove himself as the division’s undisputed number one.

“They told me he’s back, that he’s destroying people in sparring, and I believe that this AJ is the best heavyweight in the world,” added Hearn.

“Otto Wallin is an excellent heavyweight, and he absolutely dispatched him. He broke him down and broke his nose – it was a stunning performance. In this mindset and with this team, I believe he is unbeatable, and 2024 is going to be a massive year for him.”

Otto Wallin believes Anthony Joshua is going through a "decline" and fancies his chances of dealing the Brit a fourth career defeat on Saturday.

Wallin will face Joshua in the main event of a stacked card billed as 'Day of Reckoning' in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after Deontay Wilder takes on Joseph Parker.

Joshua is reportedly close to agreeing to face Wilder twice in 2024, though a surprise defeat to Wallin would surely deal a fatal blow to those plans.

Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 before failing to recapture them in a rematch last year, though he has since responded with wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius.

Though Wallin is still wary of the threat Joshua poses, the Swede senses an opportunity to add to his opponent's woes.

"I think that he's still one of the best fighters out there and he's done really well in his career and he deserves respect," Wallin told Stats Perform.

"Losing to Usyk and [Andy] Ruiz, there's no shame in that, they're very good fighters. But I think there's been a decline in his game, he hasn't really been the same lately. 

"But losing against those guys, anybody can. I think the timing of this fight is in my advantage. I have really good momentum and I don't know if he's in the same place."

Asked if he was confident of a surprise victory, Wallin said: "I am. I feel very good. I've done everything I can. 

"I remember my dad, he always used to tell me that once you step in the ring, you've got to know that you've done everything you possibly can to be as prepared as possible.

"I kept that with me over the years and I always try to prepare to the best of my ability. If I'm not ready now, I'm never going to be ready.

"I'm ready to go in there, have fun, I feel like I have no pressure. He has all the pressure and I can just go in and have fun and just beat him.

"We found out about this fight about seven weeks before December 23rd. We didn't have too much time. I think we had enough time because I was already in very good shape. 

"I had just had a win over [Murat] Gassiev on September 30th, I had a week off and then I was back training. I was in a really good place when we got the call so I was happy about that.

"Training has just been going really well. I think me already being in shape from the last fight and then also having the extra motivation for this fight made it all so much better and I feel like I'm in great shape, probably the best shape of my life."

Wallin has won his last six fights since losing to Tyson Fury via a unanimous decision in 2019, but the 33-year-old knows claiming the scalp of Joshua would be his biggest victory to date.

"It would be amazing. It's a big thing for me and a big thing for Sweden," he said.

"I get a lot of support over there. I think it would be amazing for me, my family, my team. So we are really excited about this opportunity."

Joseph Parker believes he can take advantage of any rustiness on Deontay Wilder's part when the fighters meet on Saturday, expressing confidence in his chances of a shock win.

Former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder will face Parker in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with Anthony Joshua also fighting on the same bill as he takes on Otto Wallin.

Saturday's bout will be Wilder's first since a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius in October 2022, while Parker has already fought three times this year, overcoming Jack Massey, Faiga Opelu and Simon Kean.

Wilder is reportedly close to agreeing a two-fight deal with Joshua for 2024, but Parker is confident he can deal a fatal blow to his hopes of facing the Brit on Saturday.  

"When I beat him, then we're going to have a great 2024. When I beat him, I'm going to be celebrating on the flight back home," Parker told Stats Perform.

"I've had the best preparation for this fight. Like I said before, I started off in Ireland where we have a great setup. We've got a nice gym that we use, a great house that we stay in. 

"We've got local shops that we go to, butchers that look after us, and we've got the sea right next to us that we jump in every day.

"Then we finished off in England and now we're here in Saudi Arabia. There's nothing more that I could have done to prepare for this fight. I am primed and ready."

With 14 months having passed since Wilder last stepped into the ring, Parker believes the American could struggle to acclimatise on his return to action.

Parker previously spent close to a year out of the ring before losing to Joe Joyce last September, and he says that absence impacted his performance.

"I feel like being out of the ring for a long time can definitely have an impact on performance, but we will soon find out if it's going to have an impact on him or not," he added.

"It did affect me. That's why this year has been a great year, keeping busy, having three fights already and having this fight as my fourth fight. It's going to be a great night for team Parker.

"I feel great. I feel like I've restarted my career but I have all the experience to help me with this new start and constantly learning off Andy [Lee]. Everything is perfect. It's now it's all up to myself to put it all on display on fight night, put it all together."

Former WBO middleweight champion Lee has been preparing Parker for the fight, having also been part of Tyson Fury's team as the Gypsy King overcame Wilder twice in 2020 and 2021.

Asked about the importance of Lee, Parker said: "Andy Lee as my trainer has got all the experience to pass on, being a fighter himself and a champion himself, and he was at the fights when Tyson was fighting Deontay.

"I was there for all three fights myself, it was good to see it in person. It's great to get a bit of advice off Tyson. 

"But ultimately I'm going to be in the ring putting on best performance and I'm going to take care of business myself."

Anthony Joshua insists he remains focused on securing victory on Saturday night and will not be distracted by thoughts of future fights when he goes up against Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia.

The 34-year-old is aiming to make it three wins from three in 2023, having already beaten Jermaine Franklin Jr by unanimous decision in April before sealing a seventh-round stoppage against Robert Helenius in August to earn a 26th professional career victory.

Saturday’s bout in Riyadh is a key clash for the former two-time world heavyweight champion, who has ambitions of returning to the top of the heavyweight division, and he weighed in at 17st 13lbs, nearly 13lbs heavier than his opponent.

Joshua said: “Without Saturday night there is no future. Saturday night I’ve been saying all week is my main focus. Whatever happens in the ring, I know that’s where my heart is. I need to get this win.

“If my prayers are answered, I’ll get the win.

“I’ve been focused, praying hard and, whatever God wants from me, I’m going to follow that path. I’m making sure it’s not just prayer, I’m following up by action as well.”

Amid talk of a proposed fight against Deontay Wilder, who faces Joseph Parker on the same bill, Joshua says he is focused on securing success on Saturday night before considering his next move.

He said: “I’m a serious fighter, I’m a serious businessman, I’ve got a great team behind me and they’re handling business. As I always say, let me focus on what I’ve got to focus on.”

Joshua has recorded three career losses so far – beaten by Andy Ruiz in 2019 before Oleksandr Usyk defeated him twice – while the Swedish southpaw has only one career loss to date against Tyson Fury and claims there will be a “new king” on Saturday.

Wallin said: “I’m a small fighter. I’m a southpaw. I’ve trained for this moment for a very long time so I’m very much ready for it.

“I know tomorrow there’s going to be a new king and he’s from Sweden.”

Wilder and Parker will also go head to head in Riyadh.

Wilder comes into the bout at a lean 15st 3lbs compared to Parker’s 17st 7lbs and the heavy hitter, who has claimed 42 of his 43 victories by knockout, believes Parker have “never felt the power” he possesses.

“I’m just this calm and collected,” Wilder said.

“I’ve been here many times before and I’ve fought his style before. He’s never fought a style like mine. He’s never felt the power that I bring and possess.”

Parker vowed to “be aggressive” ahead of their meeting.

He said: “We’re here, we’re ready and I can’t wait.

“I’m going to be aggressive, go in there, execute the plan, follow the strategies and get the win.”

Anthony Joshua believes he is getting his "rhythm" back after suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts against Usyk on points in London in 2021, before the Brit lost another decision to the former undisputed cruiserweight champion in their rematch in Saudi Arabia last year.

Joshua returned to the ring with an uninspiring points win over Jermaine Franklin before stopping Robert Helenius in eight rounds in August.

Those victories have put him back in the heavyweight title picture, setting up a bout with Otto Wallin in Riyadh this weekend. Deontay Wilder is set to fight Joshua Parker on the same card, and a two-fight deal has reportedly been agreed for Joshua and Wilder to meet twice in 2024.

Joshua feels he is getting back to form ahead of his fight this weekend, telling Stats Perform: "The [Oleksandr] Usyk fights were definitely tough times. Not perfect but we live to fight another day.

"But I'm here now and I'm definitely finding my feet again, for sure. That rhythm that one needs to be victorious.

"I set out a plan and I'm sticking to that. It was to be competitive, to fight three times this year. Who knows what will happen in this fight? But I'm leading towards victory.

"In terms of sticking to the plan, I've been consistent, which has helped me get my rhythm back for sure."

With all the potential distractions of future bouts hanging over this weekend's card, Joshua is remaining focused on fight week, saying: "I believe getting through a training camp in good fashion is a big part of being victorious. It's been very challenging and I've pushed myself.

"We're still staying focused. I remain in the camp mindset because I want to still be victorious. I don't want to lose myself with only a week to go and I'm going to get to the fight in good health and a good mindset and just do what I'm supposed to do."

The Wallin fight will be Joshua's first working under Ben Davison, his fifth trainer in three years after previously working with the likes of Robert McCracken and Derrick James.

Joshua is pleased with the impact Davison has had, explaining: "Working with Ben has been good. I've been disciplined. I've followed instructions.

"I'm a fast learner, not many are, but I'm a fast learner. So I take on board what they're saying.

"I trust in what he's saying as well. I wouldn't be in Ben Davison's camp if I didn't trust him and now I just have to do what I'm being told to do on the night of the fight."

Former Joshua conqueror Usyk is set to take on Tyson Fury in February, when a first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era will be crowned.

That fight is not at the front of Joshua's mind, however, with the 34-year-old stating: "I'm not focused on that one at the minute.

"It'll be a good fight. But all I'm focusing on is a day of reckoning and my opponent that's in front of me. I haven't really done a whole breakdown, but I'll be a good fight for sure."

Deontay Wilder claims boxing has missed him more than he has missed the sport during his time away.

Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight champion, is set to fight Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on Saturday in his first fight since October 2022.

His last bout was a first round knockout of Robert Helenius, his first fight since losing the third meeting with Tyson Fury in their epic trilogy.

Wilder claims he has not missed the sport during his time out of the ring, telling Stats Perform: "I've been enjoying my life.

"I've been enjoying all my children and enjoying all the loved ones and all my brothers that's been around, so life hasn't been bad for me. It's been amazing.

"So I can't say that I miss it. When you're having so much fun outside of the ring, how can you miss anything when you have so much love around you?

"I think boxing has missed me more than I have missed boxing."

Saturday's fight with Parker could offer Wilder a way back into the heavyweight title picture, with reports that a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua, who is fighting Otto Wallin on the same card, has been agreed ahead of this weekend's event in Riyadh.

Any slip-ups this weekend will likely spell trouble for that agreement, but Wilder is feeling confident ahead of his fight, saying: "Camp has been amazing. My whole team has been amazing. Being here in Riyadh has been amazing.

"We've put in the rounds and we're ready to go. They say when you put in the work, you have no doubts in yourself.

"When you turn all stones, there's no doubt. And I've done that and more, especially in this short period of time. I'm very proud of myself, of what I've been able to achieve in a short amount of time.

"I think the world is going to be very excited and they're going to be surprised at what their eyes will see come Saturday night.

"I am looking forward to Saturday night. I'm always excited to get back in the ring, to put on a great performance, to knock someone out as people come to see me knock them out."

Wilder has received criticism for comments he has made in the past, once saying he wanted to kill a man in the ring to "put a body" on his record.

Wilder feels the backlash of those comments is unfair, explaining: "Sometimes I have to hold my words of what I want to say because, you know, when I say certain things, I get criticised, I get stones thrown at me.

"But if somebody else says the same thing, they don't have the same punishment. I think because when I say certain things, I think because people know that I can actually do it, then they cast stones at me.

"But they're just as guilty because you pay to watch it, see it happen. So if I speak it, you're paying to see it. So you're just as guilty as I [am] saying it."

Anthony Joshua insisted he remained focused on securing victory on Saturday night and was not distracted by thoughts of future fights when he goes up against Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia.

The 34-year-old is aiming to make it three wins from three in 2023 having already beaten Jermaine Franklin Jr by unanimous decision in April before securing a seventh-round stoppage against Robert Helenius in August to earn a 26th professional career victory.

Saturday’s bout is an important clash for the former two-time world heavyweight champion, who is looking to insert himself back into the top of the heavyweight division.

Speaking after Friday’s weigh-in, Joshua said: “If my prayers are answered, I’ll get the win.

“I’ve been focused, praying hard and whatever God wants from me, I’m going to follow that path. I’m making sure it’s not just prayer, I’m following up by action as well.”

With talk of a proposed fight against Deontay Wilder – who faces Joseph Parker on the same bill – Joshua insisted he remained focused on securing success on Saturday night before considering future fights.

He said: “I’m a serious fighter, I’m a serious businessman, I’ve got a great team behind me and they’re handling business. As I always say, let me focus on what I’ve got to focus on.

“Without Saturday night there is no future. Saturday night I’ve been saying all week is my main focus. Whatever happens in the ring, I know that’s where my heart is. I need to get this win.”

Joshua has recorded three career losses so far, beaten by Andy Ruiz in 2019 before Oleksandr Usyk defeated him twice, and comes into Saturday’s fight weighing 251 pounds, while Wallin came in at 238.6 pounds.

The Swedish southpaw has only one career loss to date against Tyson Fury and insisted there would be a “new king” on Saturday.

Wallin said: “I’m a small fighter. I’m a southpaw. I’ve trained for this moment for a very long time so I’m very much ready for it.

“I know tomorrow there’s going to be a new king and he’s from Sweden.”

Wilder and Parker will also go head-to-head in the other main showpiece this weekend.

Wilder comes into the bout at a lean 213 pounds compared to Parker’s 245.3 pounds and the heavy hitter, who has won 42 of his 43 victories by knockout, insisted Parker had “never felt the power” he possessed.

“I’m just this calm and collected,” Wilder said.

“I’ve been here many times before and I’ve fought his style before. He’s never fought a style like mine. He’s never felt the power that I bring and possess.”

Parker vowed to “be aggressive” ahead of their meeting.

He said: “We’re here, we’re ready and I can’t wait.

“I’m going to be aggressive, go in there, execute the plan, follow the strategies and get the win.”

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.”

Anthony Joshua kept his cards close to his chest with another low-key open workout ahead of Saturday’s fight with Otto Wallin in Riyadh.

Former two-time world heavyweight champion Joshua will step into the ring for 30th time this weekend, but the talk ahead of this latest bout in Saudi Arabia has swirled around a proposed clash with Deontay Wilder in 2024.

Wilder will face Joseph Parker on the same bill as Joshua on Saturday night and both men adopted different approaches for their open workouts on Wednesday, with the British boxer doing barely a minute of shadow boxing before he invited local youngsters into the ring.

Instead of Joshua being put through his paces, it was the aspiring fighters who worked up a sweat before the 34-year-old reiterated his focus is all about claiming the 27th victory of his career on Saturday.

“I do want to hurt him, that’s fact,” Joshua (26-3, 23KOs) told TNT Sports.

“This (workout) ain’t fun for me, this is just work. What will be fun is Saturday night getting my hand raised.

“All of this is really nice, but this ain’t for me. This is for the entertainment, for the viewers, for the people who have come to Saudi to watch a night of boxing. My entertainment is in the ring on Saturday night and I’m not there yet so I’ve got to stay focused.

“I’m here with you guys out of contractual obligations so I will fulfil my obligations but ultimately my true, true obligation is to fight on Saturday night.

“I need to win, I have to win and yeah, if it is destined and meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Before Joshua stepped in the ring for his non-workout, which has been a feature of other fight weeks, his long-standing rival Wilder discussed the pressure being put on the Watford fighter.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Boxing on TNT Sports (@tntsportsboxing)

 

Wilder added: “It’s been so long that people talk about me and him getting in the ring. I think there is a lot more pressure on him than me.

“A lot of people talk about how he responded to media. I had a lot of media come up to me today and ask me about his behaviour. I say you all put a lot of pressure on him. He has got to focus on Otto Wallin.

“You put a lot of pressure on him, I wish everyone would back off him.”

Anthony Joshua says British rival Tyson Fury looked like a “flat slob” in his recent fight with former mixed martial arts champion Francis Ngannou.

Fury, who will fight to become undisputed world heavyweight champion early next year, narrowly avoided an upset when he beat the Cameroonian in a split decision in October.

Joshua, who has given up hope of ever getting the chance to fight for all four heavyweight titles himself, was unimpressed by Fury’s performance.

The 34-year-old told TNT Sports Boxing YouTube Channel: “He just looked like a flat slob that just can’t fight. He says that bodybuilders can’t fight, but he got smacked up by one.

“I’ve always wanted to get in the ring with him. He does a lot of talking, calls me a bodybuilder and stuff, but I want to marvel at the African power – he’s a bodybuilder, steps in and smacks him up for me.”

Joshua, a former holder of the IBF, WBC and WBO titles, previously targeted unification fights against Fury and Deontay Wilder when he was champion, but neither came to fruition.

Fury, the current WBC champion, will get the opportunity to fight for all four major belts when he takes on Oleksandr Usyk in February.

Joshua returns to the ring against Sweden’s Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia later this month and fears the belts will be separated again before he has the get the chance to fight the victor.

He said: “It won’t happen anymore. I think it’s just the reality.

“What will happen is that Usyk and Fury are now in position to compete for the undisputed, and once they compete for the undisputed, the belts will get split up again.

“And I feel probably it would take me about five to six years to go through and get all the belts, beat all the independent champions. That will probably take me on to being 40-41, so it’s probably not in my timeframe.”

:: Watch the full interview on the TNT Sports Boxing YouTube Channel. ‘Day of Reckoning’, Saturday December 23, as part of Riyadh season, will be available live on TNT Sports Box Office and DAZN. For info on how to watch visit www.dayofreckoning.co.uk.

Anthony Joshua retained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles with a ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev in London on this day in 2020.

In the ring for the first time in 12 months after reclaiming his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr, rustiness was one of many potential problems for Joshua but he proved too strong for Pulev.

The Bulgarian showed admirable durability to get off the deck three times, but eventually slumped to defeat following a lethal left-right combination from Joshua, who improved to 24-1.

“I started this game in 2013, I have been chasing all the belts, I’ve been dealing with mandatories, so of course I want a challenge,” Joshua told the fans inside Wembley’s SSE Arena.

“For me I stuck to what I know best: boxing, looking at where I am going to put my shots and putting them together. When they are successful, they are successful, but like I said it is less talk, more action.”

Joshua’s uppercut did the most damage to Pulev and on more than one occasion made him topple like the blocks of the Jenga game he had spent much of his time playing at Matchroom’s bio-secure bubble at the Hilton Hotel in the build-up to the fight.

Pulev hit the deck twice in the third round and again in the ninth before Joshua landed the knockout punch with a slick combination.

It was Joshua’s 22nd knockout from 25 bouts, but there was also an added maturity to his display in London.

He could have gone for the kill and overcommitted in the middle rounds after an explosive third, but stayed patient and eventually his chance came with Pulev barely able to register a legitimate punch in the contest.

After the fight, all the chat was about the prospect of a ‘Battle of Britain’ against WBC title holder Tyson Fury as, not for the first or last time, both camps talked of their desire to make the fight happen, although no such bout has yet been staged.

Page 1 of 13
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.