Joshua is much tougher than Fury — Otto Wallin

Swedish boxer, Otto Wallin says Anthony Joshua is a tougher opponent than WBC champion Tyson Fury following his knockout defeat by the British-Nigerian in December after just five rounds.

In the build up to the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Saudi Arabia, some boxing fans had expected Wallin to spring an upset and jeopardise a planned fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder.

However, Joshua took control in the main event in Riyadh, dominating Wallin from the first bell and forced the stoppage in just five rounds after Wilder was earlier defeated by Joseph Parker.

This marked Wallin’s second career defeat, with the first coming as a decision loss to Fury, and the Swede contender has refused to make any excuses, instead praising Joshua for a great performance.

“I know that he is one of the best fighters out there,” Wallin told Boxing News.

“I really have no excuses, he was just better. He did really well, used his reach well, and he hit me with some really good shots. He was just better. I think he had a good game plan. He felt like a very good fighter, and obviously, it was a much tougher fight than what I had with Tyson Fury. Maybe he’s found his home with Ben Davison.”

Wallin’s nose was dripping blood after round five, and his long-time coach, Joey Gamache, made the bold decision to pull his fighter out early.

The 33-year-old didn’t dispute the call at the time, and he still feels his trainer did the right thing.

“I didn’t disagree (with the stoppage), Joey told me, ‘I’m going to stop it.’ And I didn’t say anything. I trust Joey, he is always looking out for me. I feel very happy that I have a trainer who puts my health first. There’s a life after boxing, so I’m really appreciative that he is looking out for me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, says the British-Nigerian’s next fight is still set for March in Saudi Arabia.

Several names are being discussed for the British star’s next fight in Saudi. Some of the options include unbeaten contender Filip Hrgovic, MMA veteran Francis Ngannou, and Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang.

“Right now, we have three fights that were in discussions for they’re all big,” Hearn told IFL TV. “And that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder. Before March our aim, and we’ve discussed this, is to fight the winner of Fury versus Usyk. That is all we want to do.

“Obviously there’s a Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title; there’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there which would be absolutely colossal. There’s other heavyweights as well, the Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury.”

Hrgovic is viewed by many as the frontrunner to face Joshua, while Oleksandr Usyk and WBC champion Tyson Fury are scheduled to collide in an undisputed fight February 17 in Saudi Arabia.

The IBF title is expected to become vacant after the first Fury-Usyk encounter and Hrgovic is the IBF’s mandatory challenger. A fight between him and Joshua for the vacant IBF belt has emerged.

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