John Fury blasts ’embarrassing’ Anthony Joshua opponent and makes Francis Ngannou KO prediction

Joshua took Wallin out in five rounds in December (Picture: Getty)

John Fury has blasted Anthony Joshua’s previous opponent Otto Wallin, insisting the Swedish heavyweight ‘embarrassed himself and his team’ in their December fight.

Joshua headlined the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Saudi Arabia against Wallin on 23 December. Having beaten Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius earlier in the year, the two-time heavyweight champion battered Wallin from the opening bell with his corner pulling him out at the end of the fifth round.

Wallin, 33, was considered a decent test for Joshua, having gone 12 rounds with Tyson Fury back in 2019. That night in Las Vegas, the Swede opened up a huge cut above Fury’s right eye and would have walked away as the winner if the fight had been stopped.

‘When Anthony Joshua got in the ring with Otto Wallin, Wallin crapped himself,’ Fury Snr told Metro.co.uk courtesy of Free Bets.

‘He didn’t want to know. “Pay me and let me get back home”. He embarrassed his team and himself. That wasn’t the man who fought Tyson. He didn’t show he was game at all. It was an embarrassment. He let his people down. But if your man doesn’t want it on the night, what can you do? He had a meltdown on the night.’

Fury Snr hailed Joshua’s performance that night, believing the confidence the former champion entered the ring with made Wallin wilt on the big stage.

Deontay Wilder’s defeat to Joseph Parker the same night meanwhile wrecked plans for his long-awaited meeting with Joshua with the Briton instead scheduled to face Francis Ngannou on 8 March back in Saudi.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Joshua and Ngannou will meet on 8 March (Picture: Getty)

While believing Joshua is now a ‘different man’ after bouncing back from two defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, Fury Snr believes the former UFC heavyweight champion has the ability to take out his rival with one punch.

‘Ngannou will turn out to be a menace,’ Fury Snr continued. ‘When I saw him box, he looked like a man who has had 30 professional fights. If he comes to fight, it will be a great night for him.

‘It is a 50-50 fight. But if Ngannou hits him, it will be over. AJ looked great in December, he was a different man, he was focused, he wanted it. That determination was key. Some people get better through a loss and that’s what happened to AJ. No more pressure about his record. Now he’s not so far away from becoming a three time champion.’

Joshua and Ngannou were in London this week as their March showdown was officially unveiled.

Hearn and Warren shook hands over future plans on Monday (Picture: Getty)

Turki Alalshikh, the head of Saudi’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and the man credited with bringing some of boxing’s biggest names together, was centre stage in the capital with promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren once again sat side-by-side.

Once fierce promotional rivals, Hearn and Warren are now working together on the Saudi shows with Fury Snr believing the pair are now just ‘accessories’ when making the biggest fights in the sport with Alalshikh running the show.

‘When Turki Alalshikh walks in the room, Frank and Eddie are nobodies,’ he said. ‘They should all get down and bow to him. He has made them all rich. In America they are penny pinchers and they are the same here in UK. They are just accessories to make the job look good.

‘When they are all in the same room there is only one man we are looking at. They will follow him around because at the end of the day he is the man with the chequebook.

‘He says to Frank, he says to Eddie, this is what your role is. No more, no less. I’m not knocking those lads, good luck to them getting filthy rich, but without Turki and Saudi none of this happens.’


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