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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest Boxing News & Rumors Today / Anthony Joshua sharp, Deontay Wilder dull in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua sharp, Deontay Wilder dull in Saudi Arabia

Publish Date: 01/03/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Many boxing experts said that Anthony Joshua was foolish to fight Otto Walin. The big Swede was too clever for the insecure Joshua. His style would cause all kinds of problems.

Deontay Wilder was a big favorite to knock out Joseph Parker.

8-1 at least.

If Joshua and Wilder were victorious, they’d throw hands in March.

Sounds good.

Wilder had been inactive for 14 months. Tyson Fury beat him twice, even though Wilder had some dynamic moments. The consensus was he’d catch Parker at some point. He always does, right?

Parker had been in several big fights and lost them all. Dillian Whyte defeated him. Joshua couldn’t get him to engage much. Joe Joyce took everything he threw and knocked him out. Most figured Parker would win a few rounds and run into Wilder’s right.

Losing rounds means nothing to the limited Wilder. Artur Spzilka gave Wilder fits. Gerald Washington won four rounds in a row, and in their rematch, Luis Ortiz, who had Wilder on the brink during their first fight, was pitching a shutout.

The common denominator? They were all knocked out.

It would happen again.

Then came the twist. Last Saturday, Parker looked focused. More focused than I’d ever seen him. He was confident, while Wilder was jovial–telling anyone who would listen that he was in a great place. Perhaps a boxing ring is one place he shouldn’t be.

Parker beat him easily. He stayed low and away from Wilder’s right. Wilder moved around the ring and virtually did nothing else. His jab, effective against Fury, was missing in action. He hesitated.  He finally began throwing a few right hands late in the fight. Parker held and popped him with overhand shots.

The decision was obvious to everyone but Wilder.

His right arm was upraised as he waited for the decision.

Seriously?

Joshua had no such issues. He was in command the minute he stepped into the ring. He bossed Wallin, who talked about Joshua being fragile mentally. I saw none of that. Joshua was sure of himself, and of what he was doing. The former champion has been fighting reluctantly for the last few years. Fighting himself as much as his opponents. Whatever he once was, he had lost. I heard after the fight that Joshua was comfortable because he had defeated Wallin in the amateurs. OK, but he had to go out and deliver, and he did impressively.

Joshua was reflective after the fight.

“Throughout the buildup, I was telling everyone I had to focus on the man in front of me,” said Joshua. “Not so much a throwback fight but another day at the office.”

Parker praised God after his loss. According to Wilder, he thanked him for the opportunity.

Classy as always.

Wilder was perplexed, a loser for the third time in 47 career fights.

“I don’t know what happened, to be honest,” said Wilder. “My timing was off. I didn’t throw my punches. I didn’t let my hands go like I was supposed to do.”

Wilder blamed inactivity and a loss of his killer instinct.

Add his age (38) to the mix. Wilder will always be controversial, but most will agree he got the most out of his limited ability.

It helped that the heavyweight division is weak.

Wilder fizzled out on Saturday. His power finally didn’t save him.

Joshua was dominant. He looked more like the guy who knocked out Vladimir Klitschko than the fighter who struggled against Robert Helenius.

Focused and on point.

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