Otto Wallin Doubts Anthony Joshua Defeats Oleksandr Usyk In Rematch: “He Lacks Confidence”
By: Hans Themistode
Otto Wallin couldn’t believe what he was initially watching.
After pegging Anthony Joshua to be too big and too strong for former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, the highly ranked heavyweight contender was stunned when the two squared off on September 25th, 2021.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk easily outboxed his man. Despite having the height, weight, and reach advantages, and regardless of the hulking muscles, Usyk stood his ground and peppered Joshua with straight lefts over and over again.
At the conclusion of 12 hard-fought rounds, Usyk emerged victoriously as the division’s new unified champion. Unwilling to sit back and allow his championship reign to come to an end so abruptly, Joshua immediately enforced his mandatory rematch clause.
Although an official date hasn’t been set just yet, the two will square off once more this coming Summer. With the opportunity to redeem himself rapidly approaching, Joshua is confident in retaking what was once his. But while the former two-time heavyweight champion has a steely look of determination, Wallin believes Joshua is putting on a false facade.
“He might have the tools to beat him but he lacks the confidence,” said Wallin during an interview with Thaboxingvoice. “I think that if he can get some of the confidence back, be aggressive and brawl like Chisora did against Usyk, I think that would be the way to beat him.”
As Wallin eludes to, Usyk was given all he could handle during a 2020 showdown against Dereck Chisora. The rough and rugged fringe contender pushed the former Olympic gold medalist back on several occasions. In addition to his physicality, Chisora threw punches in bunches on the inside, making things uncomfortable for Usyk.
Although he would ultimately come up short, Wallin believes that Chisora laid out the blueprint to defeating Usyk. But, to Wallin’s dismay, Joshua refused to use his physical attributes. Instead, Joshua opted to box Usyk from the outside.
With part two looming, Joshua has revealed that he plans on bringing the fight to Usyk from the very beginning. Regardless of what appears to be newfound aggression, Wallin, who once fought Joshua in the amateurs, is reluctant to go against Usyk. Unless, of course, Joshua reveals a certain mean streak.
“It’s hard to go against Usyk after that first fight. Usyk really had his number. Joshua is going to have to come up with something special.”
Boxing Media Struggles with Intrusive Reality During “Strange” Lead-Up to Fury vs Whyte Title Fight
By John “Gutterdandy” Walker
While fans can argue about who may emerge victorious this Saturday when WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and challenger Dillian Whyte meet at Wembley Stadium in the UK, one thing the lead-up to this fight has made clear is that the mainstream boxing media itself is already a big loser before a single punch has been thrown. The media has too often shown itself to be asleep at the switch and remarkably incurious in the face of some very strange goings on.
The curious events surrounding this fight actually started back in October of 2021, when Whyte was supposed to face off against Sweden’s Otto Wallin, a rising heavyweight who gave Tyson Fury fits during their meeting in September of 2019. Early in that fight, Wallin ripped Fury’s face open with a punch, the gash so severe that it could have (and maybe should have) ended the fight, which would have seen The Gypsy King take his first loss.
Fury fought bravely, but by the final round, Wallin was dominating, literally knocking his opponent around the ring. The final scores submitted by the judges gave Fury a comfortable win that didn’t accurately reflect what had just taken place in the ring.
As the fight date with Wallin approached, the highly ranked Dillian Whyte was losing ground among bettors: Wallin’s strong performance against Fury, along with the fact that Whyte had suffered a devastating knockout at the hands of 40-year-old Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin in August of 2020 (he “avenged” that loss against a Covid-19 weakened Povetkin in the rematch in March 2021) were the main reasons given for this loss of confidence in “The Body Snatcher.”
The more the fight was discussed, the more it seemed to fans and analysts alike that the talented Swedish counter-puncher had an excellent shot at beating Whyte and setting up a rematch with the now WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
It was then that strange events began to occur.
It should be noted that Dillian Whyte was already no stranger to controversy. When he fought Montreal-based Columbian heavyweight Oscar Rivas in July of 2019 in the UK, Whyte emerged victorious with a unanimous decision (even though he had been knocked down in the ninth round), but it later emerged that steroids had been detected in Whyte’s blood before the fight, and that the Rivas camp was not made aware of this by either promoter Eddie Hearn or the British Boxing Board of Control.
Whyte was much later “cleared” by UK Anti Doping (UKAD), though they didn’t deny the fighter had steroids in his system, There were also complaints about Whyte’s very late switching of his gloves for fight, and a complaint was filed by infuriated Rivas trainer Russ Anber. One boxing publication said the Rivas-Whyte fight was buried beneath a “mountain of controversy.”
So perhaps it should have been no surprise when Dillian Whyte pulled out of his scheduled fight with Otto Wallin a mere ten days before the fight. The reason given was that Whyte suffered a “shoulder injury,” with no medical evidence offered up by the fighter or his promoter, Eddie Hearn. Wallin was understandably furious, but Hearn was dismissive, and the normally vociferous Whyte was mostly silent, a state of being that he would continue right into the lead-up to this Saturday’s title fight with Tyson Fury at Wembley Stadium in the UK.
Whyte inexplicably refused to take part in the promotion for this fight until he appeared at a Zoom press conference on April 14 (Whyte also no-showed the public workout during fight week). One might have thought the first question for Whyte from the carefully selected journalists in attendance would have been, “How is your shoulder holding up?” Shoulder injuries in boxing are often very serious, as both former WBO and WBC champion Vitali Klitschko and current contender Robert Helenius, who both suffered major career setbacks due to bad shoulders, can verify.
Dillian Whyte’s shoulder, if nothing else, was certainly set in the “cold” position during the lead-up to his upcoming bout with Fury, as he continually blew off media appearances and remained a ghostly figure.
If Dillian Whyte’s shoulder injury was bad enough to cause him to ditch the fight with Wallin with only ten days to go, it should have been logical to ask Whyte if he had experienced any problems with it in training camp. But not one of the selected journalists, many with years of experience and awards, even thought to mention it. Most seemed concerned with the usual “buddying up” to fighters with jovial greetings of “How’s it going champ?” and general inquiries that elicited superficial responses. It seemed as if no one really believed Whyte’s injury was legitimate in the first place, so why ask about it now?
After all, that might rock the boat.
This kind of obliviousness, intentional or otherwise, by the boxing media leading up to Fury vs Whyte has not just been limited to questions asked [or not asked] of Whyte. Tyson Fury’s involvement with reputed Irish drug cartel boss Daniel Kinahan, now a wanted man on the run from law enforcement with a $5 million dollar bounty on his head, was also given a pass in this initial virtual press conference. The reporters selected to ask Fury questions studiously avoided any mention of the Irish mob boss, a former close confidante of The Gypsy King.
When MTK Global boxing promotions, a Kinahan vehicle, finally collapsed and shut down entirely the following week, yet the boxing press still did its level best to ignore the situation. When Fury was finally asked a question about his former advisor Kinahan, he looked and sounded annoyed, and said that it was “none of his business,” but what he really seemed to be saying, judging by his tone, was, “it’s none of your business.”
This from a man who once wore the MTK logo on his clothing and who is making millions of dollars from his upcoming fight–which Fury now insists will be his last, in marked contrast to what he was saying before the Kinahan story hit the news.
A jittery and shaken Fury even claimed that the only time he’d broken the law was when he received a speeding ticket, yet spoke during the final press conference of the cocaine-fuelled binge that caused him to cancel two scheduled rematches with Ukrainian world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who Fury dethroned in 2015 during a period of tumult in Klitschko’s personal life.
At press time, snorting cocaine is still against the law in the United Kingdom. But no one in the press caught this contradiction either. Follow-up questions are not the specialty of the current mainstream boxing press.
In The Guardian newspaper, Donald McRae wrote witheringly that the initial Zoom press conference for Fury vs Whyte “was engineered so that the only reporters invited to put any questions to Fury were those intent on swapping ingratiating greetings with him or asking him about his golf swing, his faith or how it will feel to fight on St George’s Day. Kinahan’s name was not mentioned once in over 50 minutes of banality, deception and stupidity. It was a shameful day for the charade of boxing journalism.”
In fact, this entire promotion has shown that the mainstream boxing media has often become nothing more than “access journalism,” a term often favored by scrappy American cultural commentator Jimmy Dore. When a journalist is too afraid to ask a question because what he or she really wants to do is to be buddies with fighters and/or promoters, and to protect his or her access to those same people, then that person is no longer a journalist, but a PR flack. And that is what too many boxing writers have become in 2022: practitioners of access journalism; public relations hacks masquerading as actual journalists.
Asking a question that might rock the boat, that might upset the camps of Tyson Fury or Dillian Whyte, is thus often deemed not worth the price that might have to be paid by the questioner.
The fate of Otto Wallin, who due to Dillian Whyte’s mysterious “shoulder injury” was left holding the bag for a long training camp and its attendant monetary and physical expenses, and denied a possible rematch with Tyson Fury, is of little concern to “access boxing journalists.” There are free tickets to fights, free food at press events, and back-slapping superficial interviews to protect. Oppositional journalism is just not in style, and in fact now marks one as a pariah in the small world of boxing writers.
So Otto Wallin will sit and watch to see what happens on Saturday, and wonder at what might have been.
And to see if Dillian Whyte’s tricky shoulder holds up.
Otto Wallin Set To Return On February 5th, Against Kamil Sokolowski
By: Hans Themistode
Following his competitive unanimous decision defeat at the hands of current WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in 2019, Otto Wallin has slowly fought his way back up the heavyweight ladder.
In what the 31-year-old hopes will be a robust 2022 fight schedule, he’ll officially return to the ring in one week’s time.
“I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be fighting next Saturday in Cardiff Wales, on February 5th,” said Wallin on a self-recorded video. “I’m going to be fighting Kamil Sokolowski.”
By all accounts, a showdown against Sokolowski isn’t the marquee bout Wallin had been hoping for. The 35-year-old journeyman has picked up just two victories in his last 12 ring appearances, including coming up woefully short against newcomer Ihor Shevadzutskyi in December of 2021.
Still, while Wallin openly admits that his upcoming showdown isn’t a memorable one, he craves consistency at this point in his career.
In the wake of his competitive defeat at the hands of Fury nearly three years ago, Wallin has entered only twice. Regardless of idleness, Wallin picked up the most notable win of his career in the first quarter of 2021.
The highly ranked heavyweight contender found himself engaged in a back and forth battle against former multiple-time title challenger Dominic Breazeale. Although Wallin was at a decided height, weight, and reach disadvantage – he carefully out-boxed and out-slugged his much larger foe, on his way to a wide unanimous decision victory.
Though he’s remained sidelined since then, a deal between Wallin and current WBC interim titlist Dillian Whyte had been struck. Admittedly, Wallin viewed his showdown against Whyte as an opportunity to prove himself on a much bigger stage. Nevertheless, Wallin was ultimately incensed when Whyte was forced to withdraw from their contest due to a shoulder injury.
Considering that Wallin’s bout against Breazeale took place nearly one full year ago, the highly ranked heavyweight contender is simply looking to use his upcoming showdown as a way to work on his craft, while keeping himself in the heavyweight title picture.
“It’ll be good to get a fight and get off some of the ring rust. Hopefully soon, we’ll get a bigger fight.”
Otto Wallin Camp Fumes in Wake of Dillian Whyte Fight Cancellation
by John “Gutterdandy” Walker
Leave it to the sport of boxing to find a way to waste any momentum it has accumulated with the sporting public.
In the wake of two excellent heavyweight title clashes recently — Oleksander Usyk’s dominant unanimous decision win over Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury’s obliteration of Deontay Wilder — boxing fans were eagerly looking forward to the next scheduled high-level installment from the glamor division between top ranked Dillian Whyte of the UK and Otto Wallin of Sweden.
Three great fights in a row, it seems, was too much to ask.
Wallin (22-1-0, 14 KOs) is the heavyweight who arguably gave Fury his toughest overall fight to date (Wilder actually only troubled the Gypsy King for a few select rounds over three fights).
During their clash, the 6’6″ tall Swede used his slick counterpunching abilities to confound Fury at times, inflicting two large gashes on the Brit’s face, one above his left eye courtesy of a wicked left hook. That cut was severe enough that the fight could have been waved off, but Fury gutted his way through to a UD win that nevertheless saw Wallin rocking him hard with big shots as the fight came to a close.
Though he lost to Fury, Otto Wallin had arrived at the top end of the heavyweight division.
Since that fight, Wallin has gone from strength to strength, and looked primed to provide Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who has been awaiting a title shot for what seems like forever, with some very stiff competition for their bout scheduled for October 30 in the UK.
But now, the fight has been cancelled amidst questionable circumstances, and Wallin has been left heartbroken and angry.
Wallin was getting ready to depart for the UK when he was informed via email that Whyte had injured his shoulder and the fight was cancelled. No supporting documentation was provided to the Wallin camp by Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Further queries have gone unanswered.
The sketchy details surrounding the cancellation have set Wallin and his camp on edge: a shot at WBC world heavyweight champ Tyson Fury awaits the winner of Wallin vs Whyte.
At a recent presser called to make their case, Wallin and his manager Dmitry Salita fumed about the situation. “I’ve been training very hard, and had my mind put into this,” lamented a downcast Wallin.
“Just the simple fact that I haven’t seen my family [in Sweden] in two years … I’ve been staying here [in the USA], training, to make sure I’ll be ready when this big opportunity comes. I was gonna go fight, win this fight, and then go back to Sweden to see everybody. It’s tough when you haven’t seen your mom in two years (Wallin’s father passed away before he fought Tyson Fury in 2019).”
Not helping matters is the fact that Whyte had publicly mused recently about skipping the tough Wallin challenge altogether and waiting for Fury to offer him a lucrative title bout in their native United Kingdom.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking at [future fights],” Whyte said. “I am definitely looking at fighting Fury and Wallin is a dangerous operator – he pushed Fury all the way.”
Those remarks seem more ominous now, in light of the last-minute cancellation of the fight. The suspicion is that Whyte simply decided to pull the plug and wait for Fury to come calling for a lucrative, all-UK showdown. Wallin is left with a lot of hard preparation that at the moment seems like it was for nothing.
“This is such a big opportunity,” said an agitated Dmitry Salida, Wallin’s manager. “[Wallin] put so much on the line. It’s so important that the right thing happens here.”
“Injuries happen in boxing,” Salida continued. “But there’s just so many circumstances in this particular situation that makes it so unsettling … all we want is the truth. That’s all we want.”
The right thing, according to Wallin and Salida, is a rescheduling of the bout. Faced with a lack of communication from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, the Wallin camp are appealing to the British Boxing Board of Control and the WBC to seek a remedy to the now fraught situation.
One thing the Wallin camp isn’t interested in, however, is an offer from Croatian heavyweight Alen “The Savage” Babic, who Whyte promotes, to take his boss’s place. Matchroom head honcho Hearn has since pushed for Wallin to take on “The Savage” instead of Whyte, but Salida scoffed at the suggestion.
“Otto Wallin is a world class fighter,” Salida said. “[Babic] is irrelevant. It’s just branding for whoever that person is. I’ve never heard of this guy before (Babic was scheduled to appear on the undercard of Wallin vs Whyte).”
The Wallin camp remain fearful that Whyte will be allowed to bypass the Swede altogether and proceed straight to a title fight with Tyson Fury. Salida feels Whyte has been spooked by many boxing scribes and promoters predicting a Wallin win against the Brit.
“I am a man of my word,” said Wallin. “We have a contract signed and we are supposed to fight. And I will honor that. I am very serious when it comes to contracts and giving my word on something.”
“The redo should happen” Salida added, “but we want to see proof [of Whyte’s injury]. That’s all we want. We want to see the truth, all we want is fairness.”
“And if the right thing doesn’t happen, it will be so detrimental to our sport.”
Dillian Whyte Suffers Shoulder Injury, Fight Vs. Otto Wallin Off
By: Hans Themistode
Dillian Whyte’s highly anticipated heavyweight showdown against Otto Wallin has officially been pushed to the wayside.
With only a few short days left until the pair faced off on Halloween eve at the O2 Arena in Greenwich London, Whyte has reportedly suffered a shoulder injury as training camp winded down. While it’s unclear the severity of Whyte’s injury, it was enough discomfort to force the British contender to remove himself from the event altogether.
News of Whyte’s forced withdrawal is particularly disheartening for Wallin, as he’s endured several postponements throughout the course of his brief career.
In the eyes of oddsmakers, Wallin vs. Whyte was essentially considered a coin flip. However, both WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and promoter Bob Arum were steadfast in their belief that Wallin would walk into the hometown of Whyte and strip him of his WBC interim title. That in turn, would give Wallin exactly what he was looking for as he’s longed for a sequel against Fury.
The two originally squared off on September 14th, 2019, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fury, of course, was viewed as a gargantuan favorite. Still, Wallin never appeared unnerved about facing whom many consider to be the best heavyweight in the world.
After opening up an enormous gash over the right eye of Fury, one that required 47 stitches, Wallin fought Fury on mostly even terms until fading down the stretch. Fury’s incredibly close battle with Wallin may have resulted in a victory, but Wallin’s skills were accentuated nonetheless.
Since then, Wallin has gone on to pick up two impressive victories. Most recently, the Swedish born contender easily dismantled former heavyweight title challenger, Dominic Breazeale. As for Whyte, after scoring a number of victories in a row, his road to a heavyweight title hit a significant speed bump as he was brutally stopped in the fifth round in August of 2020 against Alexander Povetkin. Whyte would eventually reel Povetkin back into the ring seven months later, registering the fourth knockout win and reclaiming his lofty status in the WBC rankings.
At the moment, it’s unclear if Whyte vs. Wallin will be rescheduled, or if Whyte will opt to pursue a showdown against Fury instead.
Dillian Whyte Vs. Otto Wallin Set For October 30th Clash
By: Hans Themistode
It was a merry-go-round of names that were presented at the doorstep of heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte. However, after Eddie Hearn failed to finalize deals against both Jermaine Franklin and Chris Arreola, the long-time promoter has decided to go in another, and possibly, more dangerous direction.
As first reported by Boxingscene.com, Whyte is now set to return to the ring against heavyweight contender, Otto Wallin. The pair have agreed to terms on an October 30th, date at the O2 Arena in London.
Wallin, 30, has desperately attempted to attract some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division to step foot inside the ring against him. While the Swedish native is coming off back-to-back wins against Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale, he’s mostly known for his all-out brawl against WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury.
The two tangoed in September of 2019, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heading in, Wallin was pegged as the huge underdog and was mostly expected to suffer defeat in devastating fashion.
Nevertheless, Wallin proved his worth, giving Fury all he could handle and bloodying the undefeated titleholder early on. Despite coming out on the losing end, Wallin was mostly praised for giving Fury one of the most difficult fights of his career.
As for Whyte, he’s gone on a tear since picking up the first defeat of his career to Anthony Joshua in 2015. In total, Whyte reeled off 11 straight victories, including two against former heavyweight belt holders, Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne. Whyte did, however, experience a significant setback, suffering a shocking fifth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Alexander Povetkin in August of 2020.
Whyte would ultimately prove that Povetkin’s victory was nothing more than fortuitous, stopping the former Olympic gold medalist in the fourth round of their immediate rematch and ushering him straight into retirement.
Otto Wallin Knows Exactly What He Needs To Do To Get More Attention: “Knockouts Sell”
By: Hans Themistode
It isn’t exactly easy finding someone who’s nearly seven feet tall and really knows how to fight. Being wrapped up in a global pandemic doesn’t help either.
For heavyweight contender Otto Wallin, that is the precise predicament he found himself in. The heavyweight contender sat back in his palatial estate and wondered who could he call to help assist him as he prepared to take on Dominic Breazeale this Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Connecticut. After scrolling through his phonebook a little while, Wallin found the exact name he was looking for.
“Me and Adam (Kownacki) had some great sparring,” said Wallin during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “We sparred four or five times. Adam is a tough guy, he comes forward and throws a lot of punches. He’s not as big as Breazeale but he puts pressure on you and Breazeale also tries to put pressure on his opponent so that was good for me.”
While Kownacki’s six-feet three-inch frame falls four inches short of Breazeale, the Polish native gave Wallin exactly what he was looking for. Opportunities to face top ten contenders haven’t exactly fallen in the lap of Wallin. At least, not recently.
Outside of Wallin’s much talked about contest against WBC and Ring magazine titlist Tyson Fury in September of 2019, the Swedish product has fought just once in the span of two years, a fifth-round stoppage win against Travis Kauffman roughly six months ago. Much like Wallin though, Breazeale has also grown accustomed to sitting on the sidelines for long stretches as his last contest came approximately two years ago against Deontay Wilder, a showdown Breazeale would ultimately lose in the first round.
For Wallin (21-1, 14 KOs), his latest string of inactivity is a pattern that he shakes his head at. Simply put, the heavyweight contender wants to fight.
Now however, with the chance to kick off his 2021 by jumping into the ring early, Wallin is hoping to build a bit of momentum by being seen more inside the ring and doing plenty of damage once he walks through those ropes.
“I haven’t been able to be that busy these last few years. I had one fight last year and one fight the year before that. If I can put in a great performance here and stop Breazeale that would be great for me. I think I would be able to pick up a lot of new fans. This is a big chance for me so I’m hoping that I can grab it with two hands.”
There will be no pity pat punches coming from Wallin’s side of the ring come tomorrow night. The soon to be 31-year-old knows good and well that if he doesn’t do something drastic come fight night, that there’s a good chance that he can and will be passed in the pecking order for a title shot.
That, on the other hand, won’t happen if Wallin gets fans to jump out of their seats with an eye-catching stoppage victory.
“Knockouts sell and that’s something that I want to do. He’s a big guy and a pretty good puncher. He’s also really dangerous when he’s hurt so I have to be smart but I think I can break him down and stop him.”
Otto Wallin is Prospering Amidst the Pandemic
By: Kirk Jackson
Heavyweight contender Otto Wallin (21-1, 14 KO’s) started his comeback path, scoring a technical knockout in his first fight in the 11 months, since losing to Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) in September of last year.
Wallin’s moniker of “All In” is fitting, considering his present standing, the current state of boxing and the world for that matter. The Swedish born heavyweight contender, has an opportunity with his recent exposure and aims to push his momentum forward towards championship acclaim.
“It’s just about me going out there and being myself, and take care of Kauffman,” Wallin said during Showtime’s virtual press conference leading up to this weekend’s event.
“He’s a good fighter, so I have to be alert at all times. But I feel like I’m better, I’m more young, fresh and everything. I just feel like I’m a better fighter. So, as long I go out there and just be myself and leave it all in the ring, everything will come in place and everybody will see that it wasn’t a fluke, that it wasn’t just a one-time thing, and that I am good, and that I am for real.”
Wallin took this opportunity serious and his preparation was reflected in his victory Saturday night.
“I think I got great momentum from that Fury fight because the world started noticing me,” said Wallin.
For his part, Travis Kauffman (32-4, 23 KO’s) placed forth a valiant effort, succumbing to a combination of Wallin’s physical assault and damage from a lingering injury to his left arm.
The injury in question, appeared to be a re-aggravation of some sort to the left shoulder/arm of Kauffman. The Pennsylvania native had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, after losing to heavyweight world title challenger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (31-2, 26 KO’s) back in December of 2018.
Although victory alluded the long time challenger, Kauffman represented luminously for his late long-time trainer Naazim Richardson and for the tragically lost lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
No stranger to losing loved ones, Wallin also possessed awareness and understanding, entering the ring honoring the memory of Naazim Richardson and COVID-19 victims.
Wallin, famously faced Fury with a heavy heart, after losing his father months prior to his bout against “The Gypsy King.” Kauffman and Wallin also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year and fortunately recovered from the virus.
After a triumphant showing, the question is moving forward is how will the 29-year-old continue his wave of momentum? Parts of the puzzle, include the selection of the right opponent, along with the promotional company/network.
Originally, Wallin was supposed to return to the ring against Australia’s Lucas Browne (29-2, 25 KO’s) on March 28 at Park MGM in Las Vegas. Wallin withdrew from that bout due to a fractured bone in his left foot suffered in February.
But displaying the hallmark trait of resilience, Wallin was able to secure a fight during this bubble-like phase of sports. Now back on the winning trail, the rugged challenger is aiming to exact revenge against the only man to hand him professional defeat.
“Hopefully, I will get a title shot. I mean, I really did well with Fury and better than anybody has. So, you can take that and look at it and say that I am one of the top guys, for sure,” said Wallin. “But where I stand, it’s hard to tell. But I definitely think that I’m one of the top guys and I’m happy to be back fighting again, and can’t wait to show that. And then, you know, the champions are tied up with themselves and stuff.”
“We’ll see what’s gonna happen, but I feel like after the Fury fight nobody will have to take criticism for fighting me. So, they know that I’m good, hopefully, and they will give me another shot. I know that Fury, he’s always calling out a lot of guys, but he never mentions my name.”
The entire sports world has been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with boxing finally picking back up in recent months. But because of this pandemic, there is a loss of funds, venues and other variables of uncertainty. As a result, scheduling bouts have become quite difficult.
But Wallin still prospers. Boasting appearances across ESPN and now Showtime in recent bouts, Wallin may be in position to become a staple among Premier Boxing Champions contemporaries. Former champions Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s) and Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO’s) are among the heavyweight royalty at the PBC stable.
Although it’s unlikely for Wallin to secure an immediate bout with one of the aforementioned Wilder or Ruiz, a bridge into eventually meeting Wilder at least, would be Wallin stepping in against the southpaw Ortiz. “King Kong” was a knock-out victim of Wilder on two occasions and a good way for Wallin to test his might would be pitting his ability against the technical monster.
Ortiz happened to stop Kauffman in the 10th round of Kauffman’s last appearance prior to facing Wallin, which came in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The heavyweight division is a deep pool, rich with talent. “All In” is not out of his league. He displayed a gritty 12-round performance against current WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. He sparred several rounds with current unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, while in the amateur ranks. Wallin held the WBA Continental heavyweight title in 2017 and won the EBU European Union heavyweight title in 2018.
It’s well noted Wallin is resilient, tough, fights well off his jab, and has a solid straight left hand – even buzzed Fury. Also possessing a strong fundamental base, Showtime punch-by-punch analyst Abner
Mares, remarked on Wallin’s clean, effective, punching ability.
Now, the Swedish born fighter is accruing experience necessary to make a push towards the top.
If Wallin continues to mow down the competition, he can position himself for a match against the likes of Wilder, Joshua or Fury.
If not one of those names, then against a steady staple of solid opponents until he reaches his goal, continuing the harvest, continuing to prosper.
Otto Wallin Is Ready To Prove Fight Against Tyson Fury Was No Fluke
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.”
Otto Wallin Gives Boxing Insider Radio His Thoughts on His Upcoming Contest Against Travis Kauffman, How He Dealt With COVID-19 and Empty Arenas
Heavyweight contender Otto Wallin has seen his return to the ring truncated on several occasions. Between constant opponent changes and a one on one battle with COVID-19, Wallin has been through a lot. Despite the ups and down, all systems are a go for his come back fight against Travis Kauffman on August 15th.
The Swedish born contender pressed pause on his preparations for his upcoming contest in order to give Boxing Insider radio an update on how he see’s his matchup playing out, his battle with COVID-19 and what he expects with no crowd in the stands.
To listen in on the conversation, head over to Spotify, iTunes or BoxingInsider.com to subscribe.
It was a night he couldn’t forget it, although it didn’t end the way he expected.
Going into his heavyweight contest against Tyson Fury in September of 2019, Otto Wallin was branded with the number 29 across his forehead. The figure signified that the Swedish native would be the 29th victory of Fury’s career.
The current lineal and WBC champion did in fact, have his hand raised in victory. But after 12 grueling rounds, he was left bloodied and battered. The loss for Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs) may have blemished his once undefeated record, but more importantly, it gave his name credibility in the heavyweight division. Now, nearly one year later, he’ll finally return to the ring when he takes on fringe contender Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) on August 15th.
Under normal circumstances, sitting on the sidelines for almost one year following the best performance of his career would have left him acrimonious. But with this global pandemic currently taking place, Wallin is just looking forward to finally getting back in the ring.
“I’m very excited,” said Wallin on BoxingInsider radio. “It’s been almost a year since I fought Fury and it’s been a crazy year. This pandemic has shut everything down so I’ve been in New York. It’s been difficult but I’ve been training this whole time. It’s nice to finally get a fight.”
Preparing for a fight these days takes a bit of imagination. Parks are no longer just a place to enjoy picnics and watch the scenery. No, they have been turned into de facto training facilities for professional boxers. In the New York City area, passersby can sometimes find the hulking contender as he shadows boxes in prospect park as he prepares for his comeback fight.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training in the parks and at home. But for the past two months now I’ve been using a private gym. I have sparring and everything that I need, so I feel good for this fight. Kauffman is a veteran and he is a pretty good fighter. Ultimately, I think that my youth, speed and movement is going to be too much for him.”
Preparing to get punched in the face is a welcomed sight for the heavyweight contender. Slipping punches, getting a black eye and bloodied nose or scoring a knockout is something that he has grown accustomed to. Facing an invisible opponent however, such as COVID-19, was something that he had no prior experience doing.
Nevertheless, like most of his bouts, Wallin walked through his matchup with the deadly disease as the winner. And although it has claimed the lives of countless others, Wallin recalls his contest as a one sided affair in his favor.
“For me it wasn’t that bad at all. I woke up one day and had a little sore throat and felt a bit under the weather. I knew the recommendations were as soon as you feel anything to just stay home, so that’s what I did. It wasn’t very bad. I had a light fever and a cough but I started getting better. But then all of a sudden I lost all of my taste and smell. Thankfully, I ended up getting better again so it wasn’t that bad.”
Wallin’s bout with COVID-19 may have been a cake walk, but he is expecting his matchup against Travis Kauffman to be anything but. Other than his contest with Fury, Wallin has seldom found himself in a difficult scenario. Yet, whenever he did, the fans screaming his name from the bleachers always pulled him through.
This time around of course, the arena will be silent as fans continue to watch from the comfort of their homes due to the pandemic. It doesn’t make his fights any easier or much fun, but with or without fans, Wallin intends to get the job done on August 15th.
“I love fighting in front of fans of course. But I know that I want to get better and to get better I need fights. I need to stay busy and take what’s out there. I just need to go out there and handle business.”
Otto Wallin Takes on Travis Kauffman on August 15th
By: Hans Themistode
For six years, the name Otto Wallin was an obscure one. Yet in the span of 36 minutes, the Swedish born fighter became a bonafide contender.
On September 14th, of 2019, Wallin walked into a heavyweight showdown against Tyson Fury without a prayer in the world. A paycheck and a pat on the back were the rewards awaiting Wallin after the contest. Yet after 12 rounds, he earned his respect. The previously undefeated contender bloodied Fury and seemed to be on his way to a Buster Douglas-esque upset. However, a second half rally by the champion closed the book on any Cinderella stories on the night.
Now, nearly one year later, Wallin returns to the ring on August 15th, against Travis Kauffman. The two will co- main event at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as part of a three bout Showtime telecast.
For Wallin, his new found popularity was something he wanted to take advantage of much sooner. Unfortunately for the Swedish native, he was bitten with the injury bug. A fractured left foot forced his March 28th, contest against former champion Lucas Browne to the scrap heap. To make matters worse, he also contracted COVID-19 and felt the effects immediately.
Wallin complained of a loss of taste and smell, amongst other issues. He has since fully recovered and is now set to return to the ring.
As for Kauffman, his career has been a rollercoaster as of late. He has gone 2-2 over his past four fights with a no contest against Chris Arreola Sandwiched in between. Much like Wallin, activity has not been his friend as of late as he was last seen in the ring against Luis Ortiz in December of 2018. Kauffman was dropped three times during the bout before getting stopped in the final round.
Interview: Otto Wallin is Ready to Take Home the EU Heavyweight Boxing Title
Otto Wallin (19-0, 13 KOs) is Sweden’s top Heavyweight and he is taking the division by storm. Wallin faces Adrian Granat (15-1, 14 KOs) this weekend at the Gardehov Ice Hockey Arena in Sundsvall, Sweden for the European Union Title.
How do you feel about fighting at home in Sweden?
“I love fighting at home so that is the biggest venue for me. I never had one special place except for home. When I started as a pro, boxing wasn’t really allowed in Sweden. There were a lot of restrictions, So I had my first 14 fights outside the country. It started last year, so that was when I had my first fight as a pro at home.
Fighting at home is the best. I feel a lot of support. I come from a small town, about 100 thousand people and I can just walk through the city and people are cheering me on. There is more at stake but I like it. I’ve always had my best fight at home as a professional and amateur. The support motivates me.”
Otto Wallin played other sports growing up, but found boxing around 15 or 16 and decided that was what he wanted to do.
“I played ice hockey and soccer and I wanted to be an ice hockey player as a kid. Eventually, I stopped those sports and went into boxing. I felt right away that it was for me. It was great and something that I immediately wanted to do”
Otto Wallin made his professional debut in 2013 and has been making a name for himself that extends far beyond his home country. Wallin now trains in New York City with his head coach Joey Gamache.
What do you think about life in New York?
“I was training with Joey Gamache in Denmark for four years. Last spring he moved back to New York. It is great to keep training with Joey. So, that is the most important thing.
There is so much going on here. A lot of heavyweights, great sparring – That is something that I lacked in Sweden and throughout Europe. It is great. I’m sparring with top guys, which is the most important thing for training.”
Are there any boxers or trainers (past or present) that you consider an inspiration or role model?
“My biggest inspiration is my trainer, Joey. He’s been there and done it as a world champ. I am confident with him and love training with him.”
What do you feel is the secret to success in this sport?
“If you look at the great fighters they usually have a big mentor. A trainer or someone who is by their side most of their careers. It is important to have a good team that you trust and you know you can go somewhere with. That has to be tough to change trainers. Trust. They know you and you know them. They are dedicated and serious which makes a difference.”
This next bout will be a big test for both boxers who have known each other since they were amateurs. There is no love lost between the two of them.
Otto Wallin is a gentleman by nature and doesn’t care for the Granat’s cocky demeanor.
“I think with that fight, I don’t like how he presents himself. How he says he will knock out and beat his opponents. You have to do it with class. You have to take every opponent seriously. This is business and you should respect everyone, win or lose.”
What makes you different from other guys in your division?
“I’m technically sound and I am built well and fast for a heavyweight.”
Standing over 6 feet 5 inches tall with an undefeated record, that statement is difficult to argue with. Despite being a heavyweight, Otto Wallin is conscious of his diet.
“I cook, which is good for me. There’s not much time when I’m not training. I hang out with friends. There is so much to see. It’s a beautiful city and great energy. Everyone has been very friendly.
When I have cheat days usually go for burgers. I love food. I’m in a Spanish neighborhood here. I also love ice cream.”
What has been the most difficult part of life as a professional boxer?
“Being away from family and friends. For me, that is the hardest part but it is worth it to be able to train and compete like I do.”