Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin results: AJ dominates Day of Reckoning main event as Wilder fight goes up in smoke

KINGDOM ARENA, RIYADH – Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wanted to stay active in 2023 and dutifully posted his third win of the year by scoring a convincing fifth-round TKO over Otto Wallin on Saturday.

Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) landed all the effective punches and had his best moment in the fifth when he rocked Wallin with a right hand-left hook combination. And while the ex-champ was unable to finish his man in that session, the Swedish contender had already taken enough and was pulled out by his corner.

“My team will judge my performance,” said a jubilant Joshua during his post-fight interview. “It was just another fight. I respect Otto. I told everyone that I had to focus on the fight in front of me. Let’s not say Otto [quit]. I think the corner paid a big role in what happened, so that he could live another day.”

It was a nice positive start from Joshua, who took centre ring and feinted his man out of position on several occasions. Wallin appeared a touch intimidated and caught one flush right hand to the mid-section that forced him to grimace.

A sharp counter right jab was the first scoring shot from Wallin in round two, but his success was short lived. AJ responded brilliantly with a pair of vicious straight rights – one on the counter and one as a lead – and blood began pouring from Wallin’s nose.

The right lead continued to be like Christmas for Joshua, who diversified that shot well to head and body throughout. Wallin’s right jab was mere nuisance value. He could never get a foothold in the action because the power Joshua carried kept him honest.

This was also the sharpest Joshua had been for a long time and his class was decisive. A laser-like right hand-left hook blasted into Wallin’s face in the final minute of the fifth and the follow-up attack went unanswered. Still, there was some shock at ringside when Wallin was pulled out.

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So, what’s next for AJ? Well, given that Deontay Wilder was completely outclassed by Joseph Parker in the fight prior, that battle of gunslingers has gone up in smoke once again.

A nice alternative for AJ would be to wait for a shot at the vacant IBF championship. When the February 17 undisputed showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk concludes, the IBF have made it clear that their title will not be on the line for the contractually agreed rematch.

The Fury-Usyk winner will be stripped of the IBF championship, which will then be contested between mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic, who defeated Mark De Mori on the undercard, and the next rated contender.

Joshua, who was rated No.2 before the Wallin win, will almost certainly have right of refusal. Wallin, who suffered the second loss of his career tonight, falls to 26-2 (14 KOs).

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Day of Reckoning full card results

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