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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest Boxing News & Rumors Today / All they have to do is win – Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder put it on the line

All they have to do is win – Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder put it on the line

Publish Date: 12/20/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Most boxing fans, including former super middleweight champion Carl Froch, want former heavyweight champs Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to throw hands.

The want has been there for years. Not because they’re outstanding fighters.

It’s the intrigue.

If Joshua and Wilder win this Saturday in Saudi Arabia, the fight will, fingers crossed, happen.

Joshua has lost three fights in his professional career. He’s held the heavyweight belt twice.

He avenged his one loss but could not in a rematch against talented Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua has spent 2023 rebuilding himself. He’s won two fights but wasn’t particularly impressive in either. He won by decision over Jermaine Franklin in April and knocked out Robert Helenius four months ago. The activity is good, and Joshua DID win, but the tweaking of his style has frustrated many. Even, seemingly, himself. He looks like a fighter, perpetually overthinking.

Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin, who fights Joshua this Saturday, has noticed the differences.

“I think he’s lost his confidence and momentum,” Wallin told The Times last week. “You can see the decline. Usyk was ultimately just a better fighter, but Joshua looks unsure of himself. Now he’s afraid of getting hit and of losing.He’s aware of his vulnerabilities and it’s holding him back. The timing is right for me now.”

Joshua has noted the comments and disagreed.

“I feel a lot of people doubt how good I am,” said the Londoner, “but I’m going to show them how good I am.”

The pressure is on. If Joshua wins, he gets the yacky Wilder next, who has also been questioning Joshua’s self-belief.

“I’ve always thought Joshua was mentally weak,” Wilder said in an interview at www.badlefthook.com. “If you go back to my previous interviews and hear me talk about Joshua, I’ve always thought he had a very weak mentality.”

Them are fighting words.

Joshua is a 4-1 favorite. He should win. He’s quicker and more athletic. Wallen, though, is tough and determined. If Joshua is bored, he could lose.

Wilder faces former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. While Joshua has been active, Wilder has not.

He boxed last October, halting Helenius in less than a round. Previously, Wilder was stopped twice by Tyson Fury, absorbing quite a bit of punishment.

Parker (33-3, 23 KOs) recently received some advice from Fury on how to fight Wilder.

“Don’t get hit in the face by those big right hands,” Fury told  RINGNEWS24.com. “Avoid right hands. That’s my advice to Parker.”

Good advice, but can Parker avoid Wilder’s power? The oddsmakers don’t think so.

Neither does Wilder.

“It’s a Deontay Wilder fight, guys,” Wilder said. “When he’s fighting, he always keeps you on the edge of your seat because you don’t know when it’s gonna happen but when it happens, bam, baby! Goodnight!”

Parker has won three fights in succession since being stopped by Joe Joyce. Parker feels Wilder is already looking ahead to his fight with Joshua.

“It gives me more fire to go out there because they’re (Wilder and Joshua) already making plans and underestimating the opponents they have in front of them,” said Parker.

Could he win? Possible, but unlikely.

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