After walking away from a chance to rematch Deontay Wilder earlier this year, heavyweight contender and former Undisputed Champion Tyson Fury finally has an opponent for his September fight, but once again, it’s not one that many will know or care about.
Word leaked on Friday afternoon that instead of fighting a noteworthy name while he awaits the rematch opportunity with Wilder, Fury (28-0-1) is now planning to fight a little-known Swedish heavyweight named Otto Wallin. The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger had details:
Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX Tyson Fury and Otto Wallin have agreed to terms for a September fight on ESPN+. Wallin was a top amateur in Sweden and debuted on Showtime in April. Wallin was also considered for the Anthony Joshua assignment on June 1
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) August 2, 2019
Wallin (pronounced Vall-EEN) is unbeaten at 20-0 with 13 KOs, but has no important wins. He was on a U.S. fight card in April in Atlantic City against Nick Kisner, but the fight was ruled no contest after the first round, when an accidental butt cut Kisner badly over his right eye and he could not continue.
Wallin was supposed to fight veteran American heavyweight B.J. Flores three weeks ago in Tacoma, Washington on a Showtime boxing card. However, Flores failed his pre fight physical and the fight was called off.
So, to recap, Wallin has never fought a contending fighter in the top 10 of the sanctioning bodies, and his last two fights are a no-contest and a cancellation.
Not exactly, Ali, Tyson or Lennox Lewis, huh?
Boxingscene.com’s Keith Idec, also added that these were the other two fighters that Fury and Top Rank had narrowed it to:
If you're dissatisfied with Otto Wallin getting the Tyson Fury assignment for September, the other 2 finalists were Johann Duhaupas & Junior Fa. https://t.co/OR2iyCLvSd
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) August 2, 2019
There’s no “sugar coating” that this latest announced fight, which will be televised on ESPN+ and fought again in Las Vegas, is a huge disappointment to anyone hoping that Fury would actually fight someone of note or significant ability.
This after Fury departed the Wilder negotiations and signed a multi-fight deal with Bob Arum and Top Rank boxing. Then, his first opponent was a virtual unknown named Tom Schwarz of Germany. Schwarz was every bit the easy opponent that everyone knew he would be when Fury destroyed him in two rounds in Las Vegas in June.
Now, as for Wallin, he is unbeaten, but he’s a virtual unknown to United States boxing fans, also. And, it’s not going to help make a rematch with Wilder happen any sooner no matter what Fury does to Wallin.
After Fury walked away from the potential rematch of their December 12-round draw last year, Wilder fought WBC number one Contender Dominic Breazeale and destroyed him with one punch in a first round KO in May. The “Bronze Bomber” intends to rematch Luis Ortiz later this fall and then, could potentially set his sights on the man that hold the other Heavyweight belts, Andy Ruiz.
Of course a third option is: Wilder may end up fighting unbeaten Polish-American Adam Kownacki, who is headlining the PBC main event on Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. And not coincidentally, Wilder will be on the play-by-play call at ringside, as an analyst.
Back to Fury, he fought impressively against Wilder after having previously been away from the sport for more than three years because of drug alcohol and mental illness issues. So, while there is sentimentality in his comeback, especially in the U.K. where he’s from, that is only going to give Fury so much mileage.
And, fighting a second unknown fighter that has little chance to beat him, isn’t going to help make him any more marketable than what he was, when he fought the draw with Wilder