ANTHONY JOSHUA faces Otto Wallin next – but it’s not the first time he’s faced the Swede.
AJ will be looking to build on his knockout win over Robert Helenius last time out following back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
The 34-year-old British boxer fought Wallin twice before the pair made it to the professional ranks.
The two clashes took place in 2010 and 2011, with AJ emerging victorious on points in both fights.
As an amateur, young Joshua defeated Wallin in the final of the 2010 Haringey Box Cup.
He then achieved his second victory over Wallin at the International Amateur Boxing Tournament and shortly afterwards joined the British Olympic squad.
But their relationship goes further.
The 32-year-old Swede clearly made an impression on AJ, who used the southpaw as a sparring partner ahead of his IBF world title fight against Charles Martin in 2016.
The pair shared a picture together at the Sheffield Institute of Sport and the snap was shared on Wallin’s Instagram account.
Since then, the Swedish heavyweight has won 26 of his 28 fights, with his only defeat coming at the hands of Tyson Fury.
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Wallin, IBF no. 2, is known for giving WBC champion Tyson Fury one of the biggest scares of his career in 2019.
His huge left hook left a gaping cut across Fury’s eye during their 12-round fight in Vegas, and Gypsy King required 47 stitches.
Fury had to step up his attack and secured a points victory.
Wallin has won six times since then, beating some respectable names, such as Murat Gassiev in his last fight in September.
However, having struggled against lefties in the past, Joshua will need to be at his best against Wallin if he wants to challenge for a world title again.
The fight is expected to take place on Saturday, December 23rd, with an announcement reportedly imminent.