Anthony Joshua, British boxer of Nigerian heritage, defeated Otto Wallin by technical knockout after five rounds in their heavyweight encounter at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In the intense bout in the early hours of Sunday, Joshua produced a completely dominant fight, outpunching his opponent in all five rounds.
He out-jabbed Wallin in the first round before bloodying the Swede’s nose and wobbling his legs with a perfectly timed punch in the second round.
An uber-focused Joshua followed up his second round breakthrough by coming at Wallin with hooks and jabs in the third as Wallin could not box his way out of the punishment being meted out by Joshua.
After a quiet fourth round dominated by jabs, Joshua stormed out in the fifth round by landing the perfect big shot that unbalanced Wallin, following up with body shots as he looked to end the fight by knockout.
Another perfect shot to the head landed but the Briton did not finish the job before the bell.
Walin’s corner however did not allow him out for the sixth round to hand Joshua the victory by technical knockout.
The victory is Joshua’s third win from three matches in 2023, with two coming via knockout.
In contrast, the loss is Wallin’s first by knockout, and his second overall.
Joshua, a two-time heavyweight boxing world champion, also improved his boxing record to 27-3, with 24 knockouts.
Speaking after the fight, he said his ambition is to become a three-time world heavyweight boxing champion. He added that he will not celebrate unless he has won the title.
“That [becoming a three-time heavyweight champion] would be great. Every fight leads to a final destination. Keep on praying and working hard. I’ve got to stay focused because I’m on a journey and it’s hard,” he said.
“We’ve got bigger ambitions than that [celebrating a third win in 2023]. As I said to Louis Theroux, we don’t celebrate when we win these fights, we celebrate when we win titles.”
In the other major fight of the night, Deontey Wilder suffered a shock defeat by unanimous decision at the hands of Joseph Parker.
Parker, a New Zealander, out-boxed the American known as the bronze bomber over ten rounds.
Wilder’s surprise defeat all but brings an end to the potential fight between himself and Joshua.