One thing this Saturday is that undefeated heavyweight Otto Wallin is on a mission to pull off one of boxing’s biggest upsets on when he takes on Lineal champion Tyson Fury in Las Vegas on ESPN. He’s not only doing it for himself, but Wallin is also doing it for his Sweden and his late father.
“I don’t know Fury too well, but I have to Las Vegas to put up a great fight and pull off the upset,” Wallin said at the media workout Wednesday in Las Vegas. We’ve seen a big upset in the heavyweight division already this year.”
Wallin is looking to add his name alongside Andy Ruiz Jr. to the list of upsets in the heavyweight division in 2019 and also mentioned at the workout the lineage of champions from Sweden.
“I’ve dreamed of a fight like this since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to fight a big fight in Las Vegas, “Wallin stated. “All of my hard work has paid off and led me to this moment. Sweden’s last heavyweight champion was Ingemar Johansson, and that was 60 years ago. So to make that type of history would be extra special.”
The last heavyweight champion from Wallin’s native Sweden is Ingemar Johansson, which was over 60 years ago. For Wallin, he’s looking to add his name to that list.
“It would be at the same level,” Wallin told The Associated Press in an interview. “I think Fury is the top guy if he has a world title or not.”
A look inside the Team Fury camp house, Otto Wallin begins his final preparations and … an interview in a jacuzzi for @Tyson_Fury??
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 11, 2019
Wallin, a 6’5″ southpaw, this marks the climax of a trip that began when he was young in Sundsvall and his father, Carl, showed him the ropes into boxing The more seasoned Wallin was an amateur boxer-turned-trainer who stayed up as a 9-year-old kid to hear on the radio call of to Johansson bating Patterson and had photos at home of Ali’s random visit to Sundsvall.
Wallin is the youngest of Carl’s three sons who was mentored by his father. Wallin stated how they used to char about going to Vegas together one day, and Otto winning the world heavyweight title there. Carl will never get to see that happen because he died in May after a sudden heart attack.
“It just sucks that he can’t be here,” Wallin said in a phone interview. “But it almost feels like he hasn’t left in some ways. I pretty much know what he would be saying to me and what kind of advice he would give to me.
“He would be calling me and saying, ‘Oh, I just watched Tyson Fury again and I know you can beat him. You got to trust me. As long as you move your feet, you can beat him.'”
While Carl won’t be there this Saturday to root his son on, Wallin and a chance to make history is still something that can be reached.