Former unified super-middleweight champion and promotional stablemate of Anthony Joshua, Carl Froch, has spoken of being underwhelmed if, as expected, Anthony Joshua is confirmed to be facing Otto Wallin on December 23rd in Saudi Arabia.
Within the next 48 hours, an announcement is expected to confirm that Joshua (26-3, 23KOs) and Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42KOs) will feature on the same card in the desert of Saudi Arabia, possibly alongside the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Frank Sanchez, Daniel Dubois, Jai Opetaia and Filip Hrgovic.
Reporting, which originated from Dan Rafael over the weekend, revealed that Joshua is all but set to face longtime heavyweight contender Otto Wallin, while Wilder is reportedly to face off against former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.
Froch, when speaking to Talksport, had been hoping that the two heavyweight rivals (Joshua and Wilder) would have been able to agree terms and face each other this upcoming December after a protracted period of negotiations between all parties throughout the majority of 2023. Ultimately, Froch conceded that he is disappointed at the outcome that Joshua is to face Wallin instead of Wilder, believing that a contest between the ex-heavyweight champions offers multiple methods of victory for both fighters and a more exciting prospect to watch.
“It’s a bit disappointing for AJ to be fighting Wallin instead of Deontay Wilder because the AJ vs Wilder fight for me is a very big fight, it’s a fight I could look forward to, it’s a fight I could get excited about,” Froch told talkSPORT.
“It’s one of them where you think, ‘what happens?’ Does AJ get absolutely obliterated and knocked out in a couple of rounds because he’s a bit mentally still tentative in the way in which he does his work? Or does AJ actually turn up and put on a boxing masterclass and maybe even finish off WIlder?
“There’s so many different outcomes, it’s a juicy fight, so to now find out that AJ’s fighting Wallin, I’m disappointed.
Froch continues and admits that Joshua remains on the rebuild following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk and that a fight with Wallin ‘is not a bad fight’ but believes there are better fights out there for the former two-time unified world heavyweight champion.
“You can see Anthony Joshua, Eddie Hearn and his team are still in the rebuilding process, because Otto Wallin is not a bad fight.
“It’s AJ back out there against someone who is quite capable, we saw him against Tyson Fury and he gave him that nasty cut, he’s on a run of a few decent little wins since then, but let’s be honest it’s nothing to get too excited about.
“There’s plenty of names there that could jump in with Anthony Joshua and give us a more exciting fight than Otto Wallin.”
Froch finalises by blaming Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn for the Wilder fight not taking place, insisting the rug has been pulled from under the feet of fight fans despite the paydays that all parties will receive for boxing in Saudi Arabia.
“I put that blame totally on Eddie Hearn or Anthony Joshua.
“Because if AJ wanted to fight Wilder and he was confident enough to make a statement by fighting someone like Wilder and do what Tyson Fury had done twice... then what a statement that would be.
“For me, that’s a mega fight, Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder, and that’s been pulled.
“We’ve had the rug pulled out from under our feet, the fans, because we want to see these fights and they’re not happening and they’re all getting paid mega money out in Saudi.”