The ‘Day of Reckoning’ Saudi card is almost here as all the fighters made their ‘Grand Arrivals’ ahead of their bouts on Saturday.
Anthony Joshua faces Otto Wallin in the main event. Joshua knows a win takes him one step closer to facing Deontay Wilder, but he faces a tricky southpaw whose only defeat came against Tyson Fury. Wilder faces the former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker after stopping Robert Helenius in his last fight. Dmitry Bivol also meets Lyndon Arthur in the 11th defense of his title as he targets the winner of Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith for undisputed.
Much has been said about Joshua heading into the fight. His mentality has been put under the microscope. Joshua’s behavior at the kick-off press conference in Saudi raised concerns. The heavyweight engaged in a verbal battle with Jarrell Miller after he claimed AJ ducked Wilder. Then, at the face-off with Wallin, Joshua was very vocal, but Wallin stood his ground. Joshua has also changed numerous trainers, with Ben Davidson being the latest one, as Wallin saw a weakness in Joshua’s mentality.
“I think he’s lost his confidence and momentum. You can see the decline. Usyk was ultimately just a better fighter, but Joshua looks unsure of himself. In the beginning, when I fought him, he was a seek and destroy kind of guy, but now he’s afraid of getting hit and of losing. He’s aware of his vulnerabilities and it’s holding him back. The timing is right for me now,” Wallin statedWilder has also blamed Joshua’s team as a reason for them not fighting. Since 2018, Wilder and Joshua have been mentioned as opponents. They were on course to fight for undisputed. Wilder held the WBC belt, and Joshua had the WBO, WBA and IBF titles. Eddie Hearn confirmed Wilder’s team made a $50 million offer. Joshua had to accept the offer before a contract was sent. Hearn rejected the proposal as a contract never came. Boxing fans missed out on an undisputed fight, and Wilder blamed team Joshua.
“Money hasn’t been the issue. It comes with not having the heart, the will, the courage to step in the ring. I don’t really just blame it on Joshua. I blame it on his handlers, on his promotion and his management. Because let’s face it Joshua is the cash cow of the company. Without him, no money is drawn into Matchroom. We all know that. Not only do I feel Joshua is intimidated of me, but I feel his promoter is as well. That’s why the fight hasn’t happened,” Wilder revealed
Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin – Heavyweight
Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker – Heavyweight
Dmitry Bivol vs. Lyndon Arthur – WBA light heavyweight title
Daniel Dubois vs. Jarrell Miller – Heavyweight
Jai Opetaia vs. Ellis Zorro – Cruiserweight
Filip Hrgovic vs. Mark de Mori – Heavyweight
Arslanbek Makhmudov vs. Agit Kabayel – European heavyweight title
Frank Sanchez vs. Junior Fa – Heavyweight
🇬🇧 Anthony Joshua 🆚 Otto Wallin 🇸🇪— Boxing on TNT Sports (@boxingontnt) December 19, 2023
🇺🇸 Deontay Wilder 🆚 Joseph Parker 🇳🇿
Jarrell Miller gives his thoughts on the main event and co-main event at Day of Reckoning 🥊#DayofReckoning | Saturday | TNT Sports Box Office pic.twitter.com/iLHUrXnSUL