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Joshua says defeat by Wallin would leave him ‘no future’

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FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Anthony Joshua v Robert Helenius - O2 Arena, London, Britain - August 12, 2023 Antonhy Joshua in action during his fight against Robert Helenius Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo REUTERS

Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said there would be “no future” for him in the sport if he fails to beat Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Two-time world champion Joshua, who lost his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in 2021, is fighting on the same bill as ex-WBC title holder Deontay Wilder.

The pair could fight if both get past their opponents in Riyadh, with Wilder facing Joseph Parker.

Asked if it was hard to focus on Wallin with a potential showdown against Wilder in the works, Joshua told reporters on Thursday he was not thinking beyond Saturday’s bout.

“My heart, my soul, every cell in my body is fully focused towards Otto Wallin and doing what I know I can do,” the 34-year-old Briton said.

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“I know where I’m going in my life. But I’ve also got to say, this is the checkpoint and if I don’t get past this, there is no future.

“So I’m fully locked into Otto Wallin and doing the job.”

Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.