Home Boxing News Otto Wallin out to prove Anthony Joshua is on the decline, says...

Otto Wallin out to prove Anthony Joshua is on the decline, says he is getting him at the right time

Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin. Photo credit: Getty Images

Fringe heavyweight contender Otto Wallin 26-1 (14) says he is primed to spring the upset on former two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old Swedish southpaw is best known for giving current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (23) all he could handle in their bout four years ago that left the 35-year-old Brit needed 47 stitches to close the cuts to his face.

Although he has been active since then fighting six times, the only standout name on his resume is former WBA and IBF cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev 30-2 (23) who he outpointed in his last bout in Turkey in September.

Wallin believes he is getting Joshua at the right time and has questioned his self-belief following the 34-year-old Brit’s back-to-back decision losses to Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) in 2021 and 2022.

“I think he’s lost his confidence and momentum. You can see the decline. Usyk was ultimately just a better fighter, but Joshua looks unsure of himself,” Wallin said to The Times.

“In the beginning, when I fought him [in the amateurs], he was a seek and destroy kind of guy, but 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.”

Even is Joshua is past his best, Wallin admits that he is still a formidable opponent who will beat most guys going around.

“I would say he is still one of the best heavyweights out there and he’s made an amazing career for himself,” he told The Hook. “There has been a decline and I think he has reached his peak already. I think he is mentally fragile, he’s not sure of himself.

“He’s changed trainer and I think things can be very tough for him. People are very critical of him, he’s got a lot of pressure. So I think that weighs on him. I think it’s a problem for him, for sure [switching coaches]. I’ve had my trainer now for 10 years. We know each other really well. We trust each other in and out of the ring.”

Wallin thinks that Joshua is fragile and doesn’t have the same appetite for trading punches that he did early on in his career.

“I think that he’s going to get more and more uncomfortable,” Wallin said to talkSPORT. “If he comes out and tries to box, it’s gunna be hard for him. Even if he comes out being aggressive he’s going to get hit and start to doubt himself.

“If he comes out to box I’m the better boxer and he’s going to get hit. I know he doesn’t like getting hit. He cares a lot about what people think of him and what he looks like when he fights.

“If he comes out being aggressive he might hit me but I will hit him too and it’ll be a war and I don’t think he’s ready for that. He’s too fragile for that. So I think it will be really interesting a great fight. I have nothing to lose.”