Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin has rematch clause reveals Eddie Hearn

By Charles Brun - 11/22/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin fight has a rematch clause for their headliner on December 23rd at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

It’s a bit surprising that Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) would have a rematch clause for this level of opponent, considering that the 33-year-old heavyweight fringe contender Wallin (26-1, 14 KOs) can’t punch and is considered by many fans as a step down from AJ’s last two tune-up opponents Robert Helenius & Jermaine Franklin.

Why does AJ need rematch clauses?

Hearn’s excuse for AJ having a rematch clause for the Wallin fight is that he’s “the biggest star” in boxing, which many fans would disagree with. Even if that were true, why a rematch clause for this level of opponent? It doesn’t make sense.

Even if Joshua were to lose, Wallin wouldn’t be going anywhere. What other options would he have? Tyson Fury already beat him, and Deontay Wilder wouldn’t waste his time fighting him because U.S. fans wouldn’t want to see him against Wallin.

Unfortunately, rematch clauses are a fact of life for Joshua and part of the standard thing for him, which is sad because he should be confident enough to fight without them. He fought the tub of lard Andy Ruiz twice and Oleksandr Usyk twice.

The boxing public could live without AJ’s rematches against guys who shouldn’t have ever beaten him in the first place if he were the real deal. The fact that Joshua is losing to fighters like Usyk & Ruiz shows that he’s not a great talent and never was from the get-go.

He’s just some guy that the Brits thought was great after he was gifted a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics after winning four consecutive questionable decisions against these fighters:

  • Roberto Cammerell
  • Erislandy Savon
  • Ivan Dychko
  • Zhilei Zhang

Joshua vs. Wallin has rematch clause

“It’s a one-fight deal, but there are ongoing discussions. You see a lot of people saying, ‘Why isn’t AJ fighting [Deontay] Wilder on December 23rd?’ We got approached for a fight which was Otto Wallin. It was six weeks until the fight. He accepted the fight,” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout, discussing Anthony Joshua.

Hearn doesn’t say who approached him for Joshua to fight Wallin instead of Wilder. If the Saudis wanted this fight, Hearn should have asked them why they would have this awful match-up.  Also, it’s risky for Joshua because even this type of opponent could potentially beat him.

If Joshua is losing to guys like Usyk & Ruiz, he could get beaten by Wallin as well, and if that happens, it’s pretty much career over outside of the UK.

Yeah, we know the British fans are forgiving of their fighters and will continue to purchase their fights on PPV regardless of how many times they get beaten. For example, look at 39-year-old journeyman Dereck Chisora. He’s got thirteen losses, yet he’s still headlining on PPV in the UK. It’s unbelievable but so sad.

“Also, from there, we all know what the plan is. We all know what they want,” said Hearn. “We all know what we want, which is, of course, the fight with Deontay Wilder. They’ve both got to win, and we’ll work quietly behind the scenes whilst everyone is preparing.

“Hopefully, by the time they [Joshua & Wilder] are both victorious on December 23rd, we’ll know what the plan is. Yes,” said Hearn when asked if there’s a rematch clause for the Joshua vs. Wallin fight. “Because it’s Anthony Joshua, the biggest star in the sport,” said Hearn when asked why a rematch clause was needed for Joshua-Wallin.

Joshua is the biggest star in the UK, but not the world. He’s down below fighters like Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and David Benavidez in the U.S.

Hearn wants Joshua to show Wallin NO respect

“I just think he wanted to smash Jarrell Miller’s head in, and if I was a little more tougher, 80 lbs heavier, and I could fight, maybe I would as well because he says a lot, and we know what happened last time,” said Hearn.

“You can’t really win if you’re AJ because on the one hand, he’s a bit quiet and a bit boring. Then someone says something disrespectful to him, and he comes back and fires back, and, ‘Oh, his head’s gone. He’s lost the plot.’ So, I like what I saw,” said Hearn.

Joshua did a lot of thinking when he was holed up in that darkened room for four days, and he clearly decided to be tougher towards people during his interactions when the cameras are rolling in public.

“I saw a guy that’s actually ready to damage, and that’s what I need from him in this Otto Wallin fight. I need him to show very little respect to Otto Wallin in this fight. It’s a very, very tricky fight,” said Hearn.

Joshua has got to let his hands go in this fight because Wallin will move around all night and pick him apart with his pesky jab to soften him up. If AJ gasses out in the second half of the fight, Wallin might even knock him out.

“Look at Tyson Fury on how he behaves. No one really starts questioning his mindset. AJ says, ‘Shut up or I’ll knock you the f*** out,’ and everyone says, ‘Whoa, AJ has lost the plot.’ He’s a fighter. You’re already going to get overanalyzed in that situation. He’s ready to go and looking good in the gym,” said Hearn.

“Agitated” isn’t the right word to describe how Joshua looked & behaved during the kickoff press conference for the December 23rd card. A better word to describe him would be one of these terms:


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