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Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin: Joshua responds to Wallin's mind games ahead of December 23

Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin: Joshua responds to Wallin's mind games ahead of December 23Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
The former world champion spoke to DAZN ahead of the showdown in Saudi Arabia.

Anthony Joshua is in the final stages of training camp for his clash with Otto Wallin on December 23 in Saudi Arabia live on DAZN PPV.

This heavyweight contest will be Joshua's third fight of 2023 and will be a crucial step on the road to potentially becoming a three-time world heavyweight champion. 

There is no secret that the past 12 months for Joshua have been a rebuilding process following back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk. After losing to the Ukrainian for a second time last year, Joshua went on a post-fight rant which was out of character for the Olympic gold medallist who also broke down in tears at the subsequent press conference. 

This display of emotion led to some questioning whether Joshua had the mentality to carry on in boxing and challenge the biggest names, but so far, the British star's return to the ring in 2023 has been a successful one. Wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius have built up a lot of momentum ahead of the clash with Wallin, but the Swede will pose a tough test. 

Many fans will know Wallin for his meeting with Tyson Fury back in 2019 when he inflicted a deep cut on the current WBC world heavyweight champion and caused plenty of problems. While Fury was awarded the win on the judges' scorecards, Wallin came out of the contest as a legitimate heavyweight contender. 

His southpaw stance will give Joshua plenty to think about in Riyadh, and the Swede has attempted to get the extra edge on Joshua after claiming that his British rival is mentally weak. 

When asked by DAZN to respond to these claims, Joshua did not seem fazed and will instead leave his talking to be done inside the ring. 

"I’ve never seen someone win a fight via mental games," Joshua said. 

"The way you win a fight is by punching someone more times or punching someone harder than the other person.

"What can I say, it’s his point of view, but at the end of the day the one who throws more punches and lands the harder punches will win, not the one who has an opinion on someone’s mentality."

Compared to his two previous fights earlier this year, there does seem to be a change in Joshua's demeanour in the build up to the meeting with Wallin. 

During the announcement press conference for the contest last month, Joshua said he would conduct a 'demolition job' on Wallin before the pair engaged in a heated face off. This was seen by some as a positive sign for Joshua who is sometimes critcised for his laid back approach before fights, but in the eyes of the former world champion, there is only one reason as to why he has decided to adopt this pre-fight approach. 

"I just want to be victorious if I’m honest with you," Joshua continued. 

"That’s it, I’m focused, I’m locked in. This year has been full dedication, all gas, no brakes.

"I want to end it with a bang."

If Joshua is able to get the win over Wallin on December 23, it's likely that this will set up a huge clash with Deontay Wilder at some point in 2024. However, Wilder must come through unscathed against Joseph Parker which features on the same bill as Joshua vs. Wallin. 


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