Anthony Joshua made it look very easy against Otto Wallin, forcing a stoppage after five rounds of one-sided action.
Joshua was following Deontay Wilder’s upset loss to Joseph Parker, which means there will be no Joshua vs Wilder fight in March was had been planned, but many more options are now open.
Wallin’s corner appeared to pull him from the fight due to a possible broken nose.
Joshua (27-3, 24 KO) wasn’t exactly his “old self” here, but he was calculated, sharp, and confident, and never allowed Wallin — thought by some to be a live dog coming in — to get himself into the fight.
And before you really knew it, that fight was simply over.
Wallin is now 26-2 (14 KO).
“Not so much a throwback fight, just another fight. I respect Otto. Throughout the build-up, I told everyone I need to focus on the fight in front of me. Another day in the office,” Joshua said.
“Victory by any means. All I want to do is be victorious for as long as I can.”
Joshua said he had not watched Wilder’s fight, but that he’d heard he lost, and declined to “rip” Wilder for the loss, and also didn’t write off the fight happening still.
Joshua, 34, will now be ranked No. 2 by the IBF with the win over Wallin, meaning there’s a strong chance he could face Filip Hrgovic next year for that vacant belt, which would go vacant following the Fury vs Usyk fight. That bout has a rematch clause, but Hrgovic is mandated to face the winner next, and it is expected the belt will go vacant after the undisputed unification, which could last all of, like, 48 hours in the end.
Joshua could also be enticed by a rematch with Joseph Parker, whose win over Wilder now makes him incredibly marketable. Joshua beat Parker wide back in 2018, but Parker may truly be a better fighter now than he was then, and AJ is not the same guy he was five years ago, either, even if he looked good here. He’s different.
And don’t totally count out a trilogy fight with Andy Ruiz Jr, who doesn’t really exist as an active fighter at the moment but was part of DAZN’s broadcast team for the show.