Frank Warren admits Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are both under pressure to deliver in their separate bouts this weekend… as the promoter insists ‘anything can happen’ and tips ‘upsets’ to occur on the huge Saudi card
- Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder fight in separate bouts this weekend
- Warren thinks both are under pressure and feels an upset could occur
- Is it a myth that Anthony Joshua struggles against southpaws? The Hook
Frank Warren believes the pressure is on Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to shine in their respective fights this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua is set to face Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin, while Wilder will take on former world champion Joseph Parker, with the heavyweight pair looking set to face each other next year if they both win.
But Warren is not expecting either man to have a straightforward night as they aim to get back in the world title picture.
‘They’re all under pressure,’ Warren told Mail Sport. ‘You’ve got two former world champions in AJ and Deontay, between them it was well over 10 years that they held the titles for between them. They’re trying to get themselves back into the mix in a big way.
‘They’ve got tough fights against two great guys. AJ’s opponent Wallin is a southpaw and AJ’s struggled a bit with southpaws in the past. Wallin is also coming off a really good win against Gassiev and he fancies himself for the job.
Frank Warren thinks Anthony Joshua is under pressure to perform on Saturday night
He also believes the pressure is on Joshua’s heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder to shine
‘Then you have Deontay who is in with Parker, who had a good win last time out in Saudi Arabia. Those two challengers of the former world champions, they know how important it is for their careers that they win these fights. I think both of the former champions are in equally as tough fights. They can’t afford to slip up.
‘If they come through, they will fight each other. That’s where they are at. When they fight each other, the winner of that… down the road… will be looking at fighting the winner of Fury vs Usyk on the 17th of February for all the belts.’
The Hall of Fame promoter will be a keen observer at ringside for one of the biggest fights in recent years, with a number of Brits involved on the undercard including Ellis Zorro and Lyndon Arthur.
Zorro and Arthur are considered heavy underdogs for their fights against Jai Opetaia and Dmitry Bivol, respectively, but Warren feels they could upset the odds and has tipped a few surprises to occur on Saturday night.
‘I think you have to look at someone like Ellis Zorro or Lyndon Arthur. They are both underdogs but we saw the underdog situation in the last six months,’ he said.
Warren (pictured) believes there will be upsets on the huge Saudi Arabia card
‘A few underdogs have gone in and caused upsets. Even Tyson’s last fight, Ngannou, the underdog, put the champion – the best heavyweight in the world – on the floor.
‘Anything can happen, they’re big punching guys. They can all whack and that’s what they’re here to do. They’re here to make their mark. Every one of these fights is going to be exciting while they last. I think you’re going to get a lot of knockouts. There will be upsets.’
Meanwhile, Warren’s own charge Daniel Dubois is looking to bounce back from losing to Oleksandr Usyk when he faces controversial American heavyweight Jarrell Miller.
Miller was scheduled to fight Joshua in 2019, but lost his opportunity when he failed a drugs test for multiple banned substances. He is aiming to get back onto the big stage, but Warren expects Dubois to shut up his critics and stop Miller.
‘The knockout I think is going to happen and I want him to prove to everyone what he’s about, is Daniel Dubois against Jarrell Miller,’ Warren added.
‘There are a lot of questions. A lot of people have their opinions on Daniel after his last fight despite the fact he gave Usyk the toughest fight he’s had at heavyweight. I thought he got robbed anyway but the fact of the matter is that he came out of that fight with a lot of questions marks and a lot of things were being said.
Warren expects Daniel Dubois (left) to answer his critics and knock out Jarrell Miller (right)
‘So, he’s got to go out there and show that, not only is he a young man, not only is he a big puncher in both hands, not only does he have great footwork, not only does he have great hand speed, but he’s got heart. That is what he has to show on Saturday night.’
The ‘Day of Reckoning’ card contains global superstars and world title fights, and Warren has urged fans to tune in for what promises to be an explosive night of action.
‘If you’re watching this at home on TV, do not blink. This is going to be excitement all night long,’ he continued.
‘This is a Christmas boxing present to the boxing world. Fabulous fights, “Day of Reckoning” and there will be some reckoning. Who are going to be at the big table next year? That’s the question.’
‘Day of Reckoning’, Saturday 23rd December, as part of Riyadh Season will be available live on DAZN and TNT Sports Box Office.
For info on how to watch visit www.dayofreckoning.co.uk.
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