Former world champion backs Wilder to defeat Joshua

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A retired fighter who knows what it takes to become a three-time world champion doubts whether Anthony Joshua has the ability to repeat his feat.

Joshua is about to fight for the third time in a year for the first time since 2016. The contest is out in Saudi Arabia on December 23 against Swede Otto Wallin and, following wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius already, represents AJ’s toughest fight of the year.

Southpaw Wallin pushed Tyson Fury hard and inflicted a huge cut above his eye in their 2019 contest and has since had solid wins over the likes of Murat Gassier and Dominic Breazeale.

Should two-time world champion Joshua come through that test, many are hoping that all roads will then lead to a fight with Deontay Wilder in 2024. A former champion himself, Wilder fights on the same bill against Joseph Parker.

One man who has already secured his legacy by becoming a three-weight world champion is James Toney, who held multiple world championships including the middleweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight titles.

Speaking to ESNEWS, Toney was asked who would win should Joshua and Wilder come to blows.

“Wilder because right now, Joshua, he’s totally shot man. Joshua showed his true stature.”

Toney is likely subscribing to the theory that the Brit’s mindset has change since his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, with many fans saying he is now a tentative fighter. The man himself disagrees, claiming he is just a better, smarter boxer.

Should he and Wilder win this month in Riyadh, the a match-up with the hard-hitting American will be the ultimate test of ‘AJ’s fortitude.