Home News Anthony Joshua is back to his best as he STOPS Otto Wallin...

Anthony Joshua is back to his best as he STOPS Otto Wallin in fifth round of Day of Reckoning fight following a right-left combination… after supposed next opponent Deontay Wilder gets annihilated

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The old Anthony Joshus is back but whatever is left of Deontaty Wilder has disappeared into the Alabama wilderness from which he came.

By the time AJ came to the ring in Ryadh the bottom had dropped out of the hundred million dollars superfight planned for March 9 back in the Arabian desert which would make both him and the Bronze Bomber rich beyond Croesus while providing another spectacular advertisement for tourism to the Saudi Kingdom.

While Joshua was still wrapping his hands in the quiet of his dressing room Wilder had been overwhelmingly, not merely unanimously, defeated by a reborn Joseph Parker.

Wilder never even started trying to land his megaton right hand which had knocked all his previous opponents except Tyson Fury until the last of all the12 rounds he lost on the whitewash card I shared with many other onlookers.

The two fight contract for Joshua v Wilder to fight not just once but twice next year remained unsigned in the bowels of the Kingdom Stadim.

Anthony Joshua stopped Otto Wallin after the fifth round of their bout on Saturday night

Anthony Joshua stopped Otto Wallin after the fifth round of their bout on Saturday night

Joshua looked back to his old self as he delivered a thunderous performance

Joshua looked back to his old self as he delivered a thunderous performance 

Through no fault of AJ who shook of the shackles of his recent retreat into back-foot caution to reassert the fluency of movement, the urgent boxing and above all the stoppage power which had surfaced at the London Olympics and submerged all comers on his rise to becoming a two-time world champion.

Otto Wallin, who had given Tyson Fury more than enough trouble even though that was his only previo8us defeat, was blown away by the fifth round of total AJ domination.

That was what was supposed to have happened to Parker, who won every one of his 12 rounds against Wilder, who looked but a shell of the man who en route to his world heavyweight title had knocked out every opponent except Tyson Fury.

Whether it was the ring rust or the ruinous effects of that brutal epic trilogy with the Gypsy King, he was a spent force.

Both the headliners had sought mystic help to combat their demons before arriving in at the Riyadh Season. Joshua went into a darkened room for four days of ’embracing the infinite isolation,’ to calm his stresses and strains and for his body to develop naturally the melatonin need to bring him the deep sleep he had no long been able to find.

Wilder went off to the eco jungle of Costa Rica to find karma with psychedlic drugs. Whatever the substance it did him no good. If you want to be sluggish as a snail, for your timing to be so far off that you coudn’t swat a drowsy bee, embarrass yourself by looking a total amateur, no longer have the power to punch your way through a blancmange let alone a heavyweight contender, this is the stuff for you.

Maybe there was an element of ring rust, having boxed only 50 seconds on a single KO in his only fight since the third and last of his Fury wars. But that does not excuse or fully explain this feeble performance.

Joshua delivered some big blows to his opponent, with Wallin's team throwing in the towel

Joshua delivered some big blows to his opponent, with Wallin’s team throwing in the towel

The pair touched gloves after the match, with Joshua having now won three consecutive bouts

The pair touched gloves after the match, with Joshua having now won three consecutive bouts

While Wilder is unllkely ever to be the man he was, Parker proved it is possible to return from setbacks better ever than when you won a world title. The loveable Kiwi has never boxed better than this.

Not only does he owe a debt to his modest trainer Andy Lee for preparation which far excelled the tactical and physical debacle of Wilder under the more celebrated Malik Scott, but he revelled in sharing a few Jagermeisters with his friend, mentor and sparring partner Fury.

Joshua’s successful bid for redemption put Wilder to shame. He started with sharp purpose against Wallin, acclerated into a four round lead and then launched one of his old-style onslaughts. Forcing referee Steve Gray to intervene in the fifth.

It was good to watch. Quite where it leads him in the immediate future is less clear.

The Wilder fight is a non-starter and while Parker might deserve to fill the vacancy in the opposite corner he might not be for opponent for Joshua which they Saudi paymasters would relish.

While they work that one out, Fury versus Olexsandr Usyk for the undisputed world heavyweight title on February 17 will be the next show in the sand.

When the late hour came for Joshua to go to work he looked much sharper, taking round one comfortably. Wallin found his feet somewhat in the second but still ended the round with a bloodied nose from AJ rights.

Reeferee Stevee Gray announced Joshua as the winner after the fight, holding his arm aloft

Reeferee Stevee Gray announced Joshua as the winner after the fight, holding his arm aloft

Wallin wore some cuts and bruises following the fight, with Joshua showing his aggression from the start

Wallin wore some cuts and bruises following the fight, with Joshua showing his aggression from the start

He celebrated with the fans inside the arena after the bout bumping his chest while waving his fist in the air

He celebrated with the fans inside the arena after the bout bumping his chest while waving his fist in the air 

So it went. We had wondered which AJ we would see. The recent back-foot worrier or the fluent attacking forced who surfaced at the London Olympics gold and went on to submerge his heavyweight rivals en route to becoming a two-time world champion. 

Almost miraculously it was the latter. The left jab was back in piston order. The right threatening Armageddon. By the fourth he was already looking for an early night – if there such a blessing in the land of midnight shopping and headlight driving.

Wallin was sent reeling back clutching his ribs with one hand and trying to cover his head with the other.

Referee had already seen almost enough and as Wallin lolled helpless on the ropes he called Joshua off his victim.