Anthony Joshua makes feelings clear on Deontay Wilder as boxing star savours win over Otto Wallin

Anthony Joshua makes feelings clear on Deontay Wilder as boxing star savours win over Otto Wallin

WATCH NOW: Highlights as Anthony Joshua beats Otto Wallin

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 24/12/2023

- 08:16

Updated: 24/12/2023

- 09:57

The Briton is back on top of the world after his triumph on Saturday night

Anthony Joshua has made it clear how much he rates Deontay Wilder, despite the American's shock loss to Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

Wilder had gone into that bout hoping to win and set up a potential fight with Joshua further down the line.

However, the 38-year-old looked slow and sluggish as his opponent powered his way to victory in Riyadh.

Parker was awarded a unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight 118-111, 118-110 and 120-108.

Anthony Joshua boxing

Anthony Joshua has refused to criticise Deontay Wilder despite the American's shock defeat to Joseph Parker


Saudi chiefs had hoped both Joshua and Wilder would win their respective fights, having pencilled in a showdown between the two men for next year.

Yet while Joshua overcame Wallin, Wilder's time in the sport seems to be drawing to a close.

Speaking to TNT Sports after his triumph, the Briton was asked about his rival's shock defeat.

He admitted he could have ripped Wilder apart given the verbal blows the American has been delivering.

However, Joshua vowed to take the high ground and insisted he respected the veteran.

"I wasn't watching. I just focused on myself. I know how important it was for me," said the 34-year-old.

"I heard that Deontay lost. So what? He'll be back.

"Deontay, everything that he said about me, I could rip him apart right now, but I'm going to take the higher ground."

When asked if Wilder can come back, he added: "Look at [Daniel] Dubois this evening, you can come back.

"If he wanted to, he can come back. I'm sure everyone still wants to see that fight."

Joshua seemed to conjure the magic of old during his win over Wallin.

It was his third win in a row this year, with the stalwart earning high praise from around the world as a result of his display.

When asked if his performance was reminiscent of the Joshua of old, he stated: "Just another fight. I respect Otto.

"Not so much a throwback fight, just another day in the office. Victory by any means.

"Like Otto, you want to do whatever it takes to be victorious. That's all I want to be.


Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder was poor as he lost to Joseph Parker in Saturday night's boxing match in Saudi Arabia


"Otto is a true warrior. The corner plays a huge role so their fighter can live to fight another day.

"I'm a gifted fighter and I use my gift. I'm searching for greatness.

"Ben Davison is a great addition to my goal. I'm sure you can see that today."

Eddie Hearn, meanwhile, has claimed Joshua is now operating at the peak of his powers once again.

After losing twice to Oleksandr Usyk, as well as slumping to defeat against Andy Ruiz Jnr in 2019, the Briton was written off as a faded force.

Anthony Joshua boxing

Anthony Joshua is back on top of the world after beating Otto Wallin


Hearn, however, is delighted to see his man silence his critics.

The boxing promoter said: "I believe this Anthony Joshua is the best heavyweight in the world. That was a punch-perfect performance tonight. A stunning performance.

"One that says he is back. With this mindset in this team, I think he is unbeatable. 2024 will be massive for him.

"It was a tough decision between the championship and Wilder. We signed for Wilder, he lost tonight, that's OK, it happens in boxing.

"Maybe it is a blessing because this guy is about championships. He wants to become a three-time heavyweight world champion. It will be Filip Hrgovic against AJ for the world title."

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