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Anthony Joshua beats Otto Wallin in Saudi but Deontay Wilder suffers shock loss to Joseph Parker



Anthony Joshua put in a terrific performance to beat Otto Wallin inside the distance but Deontay Wilder’s shock points loss to Joseph Parker on the same bill scuppered plans for the long-awaited heavyweight showdown.


Briton Joshua boxed magnificently in Saudi Arabia, dominating Wallin before the Swede’s corner pulled him out of the fight at the end of the fifth.


Earlier in the night, American Wilder appeared a shadow of himself in Riyadh, and was hurt badly in the eighth as New Zealander Parker was awarded a unanimous decision.


“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,” Joshua said.


“You can come back. If he wanted to, he can come back. I’m sure everyone still wants to see that fight.”


Parker, also a former world champion, was awarded a unanimous decision with the judges’ scoring it 118-111, 118-110 and 120-108.


Saudi organisers had already pencilled in the Joshua-Wilder bout for next year. While no contract had been signed, the pair were expected to enter the ring post-fight and announce a deal to fight at some point in early 2024.


Wilder admitted all the talk of a fight at least five years in the making had been “a distraction”, although Joshua more than did his part.


After the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn said Joshua is most likely going to face Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic for a vacant IBF world title, bidding to become a three-time world champion.


But as the dust settles in Riyadh, many boxing fans will be cursing their luck, as Joshua v Wilder slips away once again.



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