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Joshua/Wallin and Wilder/Parker: No Time To Play

Publish Date: 12/22/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The time has come, well technically the moment boxing fans have waited for is almost here (hopefully). One final hurdle to jump thru then us fans will get the matchup that’s eluded us all these years. Of course this boxing podcaster is speaking of Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. No unfortunately we won’t see these two popular heavyweights go to war this Saturday but signs are pointing to a first quarter meeting in 2024.

In this preview and predictions article the focus is on the two co-main event bouts featuring Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker. Let’s us begin with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ returning to the ring after a long layoff having fought not even a full round in October of 2022. Obviously it’s not ideal to be out of the ring that long, that said Wilder generally stays in good shape year round. Being two years removed from the severe beating he took in the trilogy fight versus Tyson Fury might be a good thing. Will know just how rusty Wilder is in the opening rounds.

Neither fighter is in their prime but at least Joseph Parker can feel good about his activity this year. December 23rd will mark Parker’s 4th fight of 2023 with Wilder signifying a major step up in opposition. Similar to Wilder, Parker’s been in some hard fights in recent years, getting stopped by Joe Joyce in his last loss as well as two fights against Derek Chisora. We all know the key for Joseph Parker will be avoiding any contact to the head with Wilder’s killer of a right hand.

This boxing junkie believes will see a cautious Parker using his jab and lateral movement but in subtle manner not to be confused with running away or on his bike. Not all that different in the way he fought Anthony Joshua way back in 2018. Scoring points with the jab and from time to time adding a power shot to follow it up. Parker shouldn’t veer off the only path to victory and just deal with the criticism he may receive from stinking the joint out. Throw in the fact that Parker should hold when the action gets close up and now by writing this I have made many fans angry. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Wilder should employ that jab the way he used to long ago especially to the body like he did in the third Fury fight. Also, instead of waiting to land his right hand to the head throw that powerful punch to Parker’s midsection. Giving something for Parker to avoid and eventually worry about the damage done when Wilder is going downstairs will open up a target upstairs. Parker will win rounds just like pretty much everyone else that makes it passed a few rounds. At some point Parker will get hurt and then get knocked out from a right hand to the head. The longer this fight goes the more rounds Parker could win hence the reason this long time boxing fan is telling him to go Vlad Klitschko with the game plan.

My Official Prediction is Deontay Wilder by late round KO.

At the top of the card Anthony Joshua gets his wish of fighting 3 times in 2023 taking on a game vet in Otto Wallin. It’s no secret Anthony Joshua fights very tentatively on the offensive end ever since getting shocked and stopped by Andy Ruiz in 2019. Gone is days of consistent and meaningful combination punching usually it’s one a time at most two shots and done.

Usyk out-powered and out-worked AJ in the rematch showing his true craft and elite skill. Even in the first fight AJ threw more punches (641) but most of them were jabs (427). Usyk showed he was a level above Joshua especially in their second meeting. The question remains just how much can a boxer like Otto Wallin mimic let’s say a poor man version of Oleksandr? Otto doesn’t have the footwork or hand/foot speed that Usyk has but he does have fairly sound fundamentals and a quality jab.

Wallin is also a southpaw which Anthony Joshua hasn’t fared well against of course that was Usyk we can’t forget. Given the way AJ fights now allows for a slower pace playing into the hands of Wallin to an extent anyways. Maybe I’m a bit blinded because part of family comes from Sweden (J/K) but I do believe we could get a competitive main event or at the very least a challenge that Joshua has to figure out. Wallin was somewhat difficult test to overcome back in 2019 when Tyson Fury suffered a nasty gash over his eye. The body work will be important for both men and to give Joshua credit, he did a better job of targeting that area in his rematch with Usyk. As far as the PPV goes hopefully we get a card full of good or at least better than expected fights in some of those mismatches on paper. All and all it should be a fight still on the table for either boxer in the second half.

My Official Prediction is Anthony Joshua by Unanimous Decision.


Side Note: Truth be told 4 out of the 8 fights on this card peak my interest. Beyond the top two discussed the others bouts are Daniel Dubious vs. Jarrell Miller and Makhmudov vs. Kabayel.

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

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