Sources reveal that Bob Arum, the prominent boxing figure, holds a belief that former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua may have taken on more than he can handle by choosing Otto Wallin as his opponent. Arum predicts Joshua is heading towards defeat in their upcoming main event clash scheduled for this Saturday, December 23rd, airing on ESPN & DAZN PPV in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Arum is convinced that the 34-year-old Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) is set for a shocking defeat, jeopardizing the grand plans he and his promoter Eddie Hearn had for a massive showdown against Deontay Wilder in March. Arum points to Wallin's perceived lack of power and speed in his recent bout against former cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev in Turkey last September, where Wallin narrowly secured a twelve-round split decision victory.
According to Arum, Wallin might not need substantial power to handle Joshua, who exhibited a lackluster performance in his last fight against Robert Helenius. If Joshua falls to Wallin, the highly anticipated match against Wilder could vanish, potentially forever. The tentative schedule for Joshua and Wilder on March 9th in Saudi Arabia hangs in the balance pending their victories this Saturday night. A loss to Wallin would push Joshua back into a rebuilding stage, presenting a more challenging climb back into title contention.
"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," stated Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV, expressing his belief in Wallin's victory. "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's conviction in Wallin's potential victory suggests a genuine assessment, emphasizing Wallin's skills and the threat he poses to Joshua.
Arum acknowledges Joshua's sporadic performances and questions his ability to take the fight to his opponents. He points to Usyk's victories over Joshua, highlighting the vulnerability that Wallin might exploit. While Joshua possesses the power to stop Wallin, Arum notes the importance of an early finish, as a prolonged contest may increase the likelihood of Joshua fading and losing on points.
Sources indicate that Arum's predictions are not merely driven by personal bias against Joshua or promoter Eddie Hearn but are rooted in a genuine assessment of Wallin's capabilities. As fight night approaches, the boxing world awaits to see whether Arum's forecast of an upset becomes reality. Additionally, the question lingers about the impact of Anthony Joshua's relatively short time working with trainer Benn Davidson. Will this collaboration be beneficial, offering strategic insights and adjustments during the fight, or could it potentially add confusion if things don't go Joshua's way? The dynamics of this partnership will undoubtedly play a role in the unfolding narrative of the bout.