By: Ste Rowen
Otto Wallin scored a dominant unanimous decision victory, winning the battle of the Vikings and claiming the EBU European Union Heavyweight title, along with the pride of Sweden. Now 17-0, Wallin claimed his best win by far in his home city and the seeming ease with which he did it will send a warning shot to the rest of well stacked European scene.
Both fighters made a push to hold the middle ground from the first bell, as the two Swedes tried to find the range and launch an effective attack. No such attack came in the first 6 minutes of boxing, other than a right-hand landing towards the end of the 2nd round from the unbeaten southpaw, Wallin that seemed to perk up Adrian ‘The Pike’ Granat.
Round 3 was where the fight really got going as both fighters began to throw much more freely, Wallin’s quick counters sabotaging Granat’s attempts to back his opponent up. Through 4,5 and 6, both fighters were still trying to own the centre of the ring. Granat’s sloppy punching, constantly throwing out of range and consistently falling victim to Wallin’s quick-handed one-twos were making it a much tougher night for the former IBF International belt holder.
Past the halfway mark, and it was noticeable now the drop off of pace from Granat, and Wallin’s ambition to back ‘The Pike’ up, attempting to dominate. With 40 seconds left in the 8th, Adrian seemed to flick a mental switch, and began to throw heavy shots in quick succession, but again his punching was inaccurate and Wallin moved well enough to avoid damage.
As the 10th round rolled around Wallin’s body shots were clearly having the desired effect. Granat looked a lot less interested in throwing punches, knowing his opponent’s speed was picking him off, head and body. The final few rounds didn’t give off the air of a domestic grudge match, Adrian landed the occasional big hook, but it wasn’t enough to sufficiently deter his countryman, and Wallin was clearly the superior technical boxer.
It wasn’t the best fight of a packed weekend across Europe and the US, nor was it the worst, but even before the final bell sounded, Otto raised his hand in celebration, anticipating a clear victory.
The scorecards came back as, 117-111, 117-112, 118-110 all for the Sundsvall favourite, and now 20-0 (13KOs), Otto Wallin. Big fights should now lie ahead for Wallin. The unbeaten, Agit Kabayel, holder of the full EBU European belt, or perhaps the first man to topple tonight’s opponent, Alexander Dimitrenko, currently on a 3-fight win streak which includes taking the 0’s of Granat, and Montenegrin, Miljan Rovcanin.
Whoever Otto sets his sights on next will be in for a very long night, as the Swede continues to rise up the heavyweight rankings in dominating fashion.
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