Eddie Hearn has confirmed that the December 23 fight between Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin will have a rematch clause, with the promoter saying the reason why is merely, “good business sense.” However, some AJ critics have suggested that if Joshua and his team feel the need to protect themselves with a rematch clause in this fight – and no disrespect to Wallin, but Joshua should be defeating guys like him – it shows his self-belief and confidence are not what they once were.
Too many fights carry with them rematch clauses, say some fans. Maybe. And if Joshua needs to have a rematch clause in the Wallin fight, it’s a cinch there will be one in place when (or if) AJ fights Deontay Wilder. But might Joshua lose to Wallin, 26-1(14) next month, and then see something like six months of his career taken up by a rematch with the Swedish southpaw? Maybe some fans would see a loss to Wallin as pretty much the end of AJ as anything like a top operator.
One man who feels his “brother” Joshua has “lost his hunger,” is Derek Chisora. Chisora, who carries on rumbling, his hunger still there even if his skills have eroded due to too many hard nights in the ring, spoke with the Up Front podcast, and the soon to be 40 year old made a comparison between Joshua, 26-3(23) and the fictitious ‘Rocky Balboa.’
“Boxing is like a Rocky film,” Chisora said. “Rocky was winning everything, and then he boxed Mr T ad he stopped running at six o’clock in the morning. I think my brother has made enough money now that the hunger is gone. He wants to be a three-time world champion and I will help him get there, but the hunger in himself is gone I think.”
Joshua does have a potential route towards being a three-time heavyweight champ, or at least a three-time belt holder. If AJ beats Wallin, and if the IBF belt is stripped from the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk winner as is widely expected, the winner not being interested in defending against IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic, Joshua could face Hrgovic for the vacant strap. But does Joshua beat Hrgovic? Indeed, does Joshua have enough left, enough hunger, enough desire and enough self-belief, to be able to beat any top heavyweight out there? Will AJ be armed with a rematch clause in each and every fight he has now until he retires from the sport?
Who do YOU think wins the Joshua-Wallin fight next month?