By: Hans Themistode
The need to prove himself has become perpetual at this point for heavyweight contender Otto Wallin.
The Swedish born native became an overnight rockstar with his competitive loss to Lineal and WBC champion Tyson Fury in September of 2019. Even with wins over the likes of Dereck Chisora, Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder, no one pushed Fury to the limit quite like Wallin.
His efforts may have resulted in the first loss of his career, but in fact, it was more of a trade off.
Public notoriety, respect and a permanent spot as a heavyweight contender are now associated with Wallin’s name. But so are words such as lucky and bullshit.
Now, heading into his showdown against fringe contender Travis Kauffman later on today at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville Connecticut, Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs) is looking to prove that he is far from the latter.
“It’s not so much about proving that the Fury fight wasn’t a fluke,” said Wallin during a recent press webinar. “It is about me going out there and being myself and taking care of Kauffman. He’s a good fighter, so I have to be alert at all times, but I feel like I am just a better fighter so as long as I go out and perform, no one will be saying it is a fluke and that I am for real.”
It’s safe to say that Wallin was at the bottom of the barrel before his 2019 matchup with Fury. When their contest was first announced, fans and media members alike scrambled to find any footage of the 6 ft 5 big man. While very little was actually discovered, none of it mattered. Wallin was nothing more than a footnote on the night as the world focused on Fury.
As the rounds passed by during their matchup however, and blood on Fury’s face began to spread, the sports world began to take notice of Wallin.
Now, nearly one year later, Wallin has a chance to build on that success.
Like most of the sports landscape, fans won’t be able to attend his contest live and in person. But while those aforementioned fans can pick up their remotes and flick on his fight to see if he’s the real deal or not, Wallin is simply hoping that once he’s done putting Kauffman out of his misery, that the fans will join him in his campaign for a shot at gold.
“Hopefully I will get a title shot soon. I did better against Fury than anybody has, so you can take that and see that I am one of the top guys. I think that I am one of the top guys and I am happy to be fighting again so I can show that. The champions are tied up with themselves, so we will see what happens, but I feel like after the Fury fight people know that I am in that mix. Fury seems to always be calling people out, but he never mentions my name. But before I focus on any of those guys, it is important for me to take care of Kauffman and stay busy, then get back in the ring quickly.”