Grim Tidings for AJ: Bob Arum Predicts Wallin upset, warns of Wilder fight fading into desert mirage

By Michael Collins - 12/20/2023 - Comments

Bob Arum believes former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has bit off more than he can chew picking Otto Wallin as his opponent and is heading towards defeat when they meet in the main event this Saturday, December 23rd, on ESPN & DAZN PPV in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Arum is convinced the 34-year-old Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) will suffer a shocking defeat, which will spoil his & his promoter Eddie Hearn’s grand plans for next March in a monster fight against the Bronze Bomber, Deontay Wilder.

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Joshua’s management had to have noted Wallin’s absence of power and speed in his last performance against former cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev last September in Turkey. Wallin just barely edged Gassiev, winning a narrow twelve round split decision.

Wallin likely doesn’t need much power to do the job on Joshua, who looked poor in his last fight against Robert Helenius.

If AJ loses to Wallin, the long-awaited match against  Wilder will be out the window, perhaps forever. Joshua & Wilder are tentatively scheduled for March 9th in Saudi Arabia if they both win this Saturday night.

Joshua would be sent back to the rebuilding stage once again, but this time, it’ll be more difficult for him to crawl his way back into title contention. AJ values winning world titles over fighting the big names in the division, but he won’t be able to do that if Wallin beats him.

“Joshua has his work cut out for him with Otto Wallin. I think Otto Wallin is going to beat him. I think Otto Wallin is a really underrated fighter,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV, picking Wallin to be victorious this Saturday night in his headliner fight against Anthony Joshua in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I think he has a lot of skills, and I like him to win over Joshua. I think Wallin could upset the apple cart. I really believe that.”

Arum seems to really believe Wallin will beat him, and he’s not just saying it out of dislike for Joshua or his promoter Eddie Hearn.

On paper, the 33-year-old Wallin looks underwhelming and almost harmless, but Joshua was outboxed by a smaller, weaker Oleksandr Usyk, losing twice to him.

“His performances have been spotty, and he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to take the fight to his opponent. That’s why Usyk was able to beat him twice, although he’s a much smaller guy. Joshua is not on the level of Fury or Wilder or Usyk, as Usyk demonstrated,” said Arum.

Joshua has the power to stop Wallin, but if he doesn’t get to this guy within the first half of the contest, there’s an excellent chance he’ll fade and lose a decision.

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