Anthony Joshua Could Fight Otto Wallin If Usyk Rematch Is Delayed, Wallin Assures He’s Ready For Anyone
Anthony Joshua might have to take up an interim fight before he can rematch Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua and Usyk are targeted for a contracted rematch either this May or June, but those plans may have to be put on hold while Usyk assists in defending his country, Ukraine, from the ongoing bloody attacks and invasion from Russia.
Usyk joined the territorial defense battalion less than two weeks ago along with other Ukrainian boxing star Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Joshua does have the option to compete while he waits for Usyk, and Otto Wallin’s promoter Dmitry Salita suggested his Swedish fighter be the one he faces in the meantime.
“Otto is a southpaw like Usyk,” Salita told Sky Sports.
“Numbers don’t lie and according to the stats he landed more punches than anyone against [Tyson] Fury, including [Deontay] Wilder and [Wladimir] Klitschko put together.”
“I believe Otto has all the skills, confidence – and with the last fight – the experience of fighting on UK soil to beat Joshua.”
Joshua later responded on Twitter about the possibility.
“Lol ok … I’ve shared this ring with most people you see in the heavyweight division today! I boxed Otto wallin twice as youngsters & I boxed joe and stopped him in 1 round. I’d do the same thing today! Ain’t nothing changed.”
Lol ok … I’ve shared this ring with most people you see in the heavyweight division today! I boxed Otto wallin twice as youngsters & I boxed joe and stopped him in 1 round. I’d do the same thing today! Ain’t nothing changed. https://t.co/L3dYMJFD8L
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) March 9, 2022
Wallin (23-1, 14 KOs) was supposed to fight interim WBC heavyweight Dillian Whyte in October, but Whyte withdrew from the mandatory fight due to a shoulder injury.
Not many people initially believed the injury, assuming that Whyte was using it as a way to skip Wallin and jump to facing WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury, who he is set to fight on April 23.
In a recent interview with Wallin, he told FIGHT SPORTS that it felt like Whyte was just trying to get him out of the picture.
“That was frustrating to say the least,” Wallin said of Whyte pulling out from their fight.
“You know, they had ordered us, the winner, to fight Fury, and then by pulling out like he did, it pretty much just removed me out of the picture.”
“We talked to the WBC about it and we wanted them to do the right thing, to keep me in there… but it was tough for the WBC because they’ve had an ongoing legal issue with Dillian Whyte already.”
Wallin added that it’s crucial he stays active this year.
He fought just once in 2021 against Dominic Breazeale, which he won via unanimous decision; once in 2020 against Travis Kauffamn, who he defeated via TKO and twice in 2019, once against Nick Kisner (no contest) and once in a defining moment against Tyson Fury, which he lost via unanimous decision, but managed to open a cut above Fury’s right eye that required 47 stitches.
He already fought once this year, on February 5 against Kamil Sokolowski, winning via points. The Swedish boxer admitted it was a stay-busy fight.
“There’s a lot of guys out there, I’m not really looking for anybody particular,” Wallin said.
“I’m pretty much ready to face anybody that would take me closer to a title shot.”
As for Joshua, he lost via unanimous decision to Usyk in September, losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles and stunning a majority of boxing fans. Joshua didn’t take too long afterwards to initiate the contracted rematch.
“If the fight with Usyk does not happen, Wallin vs Joshua is the most intriguing fight in the heavyweight division,” Salita added.
“And obviously the cancellation of the [Dillian] Whyte fight with Otto made him that much more hungry for the spot at the top of the heavyweight division.”