Is Anthony Joshua Truly Back? Lennox Lewis Raises Doubts After Wallin Win
Lennox Lewis says he’s not sure if Anthony Joshua is back or not after watching him destroy a soft-looking Otto Wallin in five rounds last Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Lewis notes that the 33-year-old Wallin’s physique had no definition, and he wonders how hard the Swedish fighter had trained for his fight with Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs). Wallin had been AJ’s sparring partner in the past, and he’d already beaten him in the amateurs.
Lennox is correct. Wallin’s physique looked like someone who had been sitting on the couch, stuffing donuts down his gullet and not putting in the work that he needed to trim off the fat. You could see that Wallin had a slight Elvis paunch, and he looked so awful.
The former heavyweight champion Lewis says he’d like to see Joshua fight Zhilei Zhang or Tyson Fury or some of the other top draw fighters in the division.
Is Joshua truly back?
These would be good options for Joshua to fight: Jared Anderson, Joseph Parker, Martin Bakole, and Frank Sanchez, provided that that a quality referee and judges are working the fight.
Joshua’s win over Parker in 2018 should arguably have an asterisk next to it because the referee that worked that contest appeared to keep Joseph from getting to AJ the entire twelve round fight.
Eddie Hearn works his magic once again
So, while Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, is telling his fans that he’s now the BEST heavyweight in the world after beating Wallin, and they’re drinking the Kool-Aid, believing it, the reality is, AJ didn’t beat anyone. Hearn worked his magic once again, finding Wallin to help Joshua look good and pull the wool over the eyes of his unsuspecting fans.
AJ’s last three opponents:
- Otto Wallin
- Robert Helenius
- Jermaine Franklin
If you knew nothing about boxing, you’d think, ‘Wow, AJ is back. He’s won his last three fights against the creme de la creme of the division.’
Sorry, those were ham & eggers that Hearn fed Joshua, and none of them even close to being top 10-level heavyweights. It’s more smoke & mirrors and classic promoting.
It’s bad for the sport to have promoters matching fighters like Joshua weak opposition over & over again because the fights aren’t competitive and are boring to watch.
Joshua’s victory over Wallin last night was another weak opponent shoveled into the ring to try and boost Joshua’s fragile mental state and, more importantly, to convince AJ’s easily deceived fans that he’s back, 100% refurbished and better than he was during his best years.
Wallin didn’t look in great shape
“I can’t really judge from this fight if he’s back or not. He definitely did look good, and did what he was supposed to do, to go out and take out a guy that he’s taken out in fights before [in the amateurs],” said Lennox Lewis to TNT Sports Boxing, reacting to Anthony Joshua’s confidence-builder fight against Otto Wallin last Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It’s understandable for Hearn to have given Joshua one confidence-builder opponent after his second loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2022, but NOT three in a row. It’s not like Joshua got knocked out by Usyk, and needed multiple soft jobs to let his head recover from the trauma of getting KO’d. AJ lost a decision, largely because he had no stamina and didn’t have the sense to know that he needed to attack all out.
“The guy [Wallin] didn’t have no definition in his body. I don’t know if he worked hard in training camp,” Lewis continued. “I didn’t see him throwing any punches that actually connected because AJ looked good after the fight, like a movie star, like he wasn’t even in a fight.
“I think it does good for his mental state with everybody saying he’s back, but there’s still a long road ahead and still some hard fighters. He still has got to go up against Tyson Fury if that fight is going to be made.”
Hearn is talking about wanting to potentially match Joshua against Filip Hrgovic next. That’s also a poor choice, as Hrgovic might end up getting DQ’d for throwing rabbit punches if he doesn’t stop using those shots to win his fights. Last night, he repeatedly hit the hapless 41-year-old Mark De Mori in the back of the head en route to a first round knockout.
“That’s going to be a great fight for him. [Zhilei] Zhang from China would be a great fight for him as well. There’s a couple of guys out there still wandering around. I think for this particular fight, he did well,” said Lewis.