Tyson Fury is set to face Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas this weekend.
It is understood ESPN were keen for Fury to fight an American to raise his profile in that country, but beyond Deontay Wilder, the remaining candidates never seemed to fit the bill.
Trevor Bryan is ranked number one by the WBA, but isn’t in the top 10 anywhere else. Jarrell Miller is coming off a drugs ban and then you have the likes of Michael Hunter and Charles Martin.
We all know that if things go according to plan, Fury will face Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title in early 2020 as that fight has already been agreed in principle and will be the rematch to their thrilling draw in late 2018.
But, you’re well within your rights to ask: who the hell is Otto Wallin?
The 28-year-old is a southpaw born in Sundsvall, Sweden.
He has previous experience with British fighters after taking part in Anthony Joshua’s training camp to help the former world champion prepare for his victory over IBF champion Charles Martin in 2016.
He was set for the most notable match-up of his career in July with BJ Flores, but the American was not medically cleared to compete.
Wallin relocated to the United States earlier this year for training purposes and is yet to have his first fight since doing so.
Making the jump up to face The Ring magazine’s number one heavyweight in the world is quite the challenge.
WALLIN TALE OF THE TAPE
- Fights: 20
- Wins: 20
- KOs: 13
- Height: 6”5
- Weight (Last Fight): 16st 2lbs
- World titles won: 0
Wallin was taught to box by his father, Carl, who used to tell him the legendary tale of how Ingemar Johansson shocked the world 60 years ago when he travelled to New York City.
The Swede stood toe-to-toe with the seemingly untouchable Floyd Patterson in a packed Yankee Stadium and knocked him out.
Otto was on his way from his New York home to Sweden to visit his father in May, when he heard the news he had died, aged 67.
He told the Daily Mail: “My father was a boxer and he taught me how to fight before he allowed me to go to the gym at the age of 15. Until then I was playing ice hockey and football.
“But he always told me that when the call came I had the qualities to become a world champion. We were very close. He was looking forward to the day my chance came. It is so sad that he is not here to see one of his sons from a small town in Sweden go onto the biggest stage in world boxing.
“But now I have to make it all come true. For him. He made sure I would have the skills both offensively and defensively to take this opportunity, which I’ve been waiting and working for so long. I will feel my father’s presence in the (T-Mobile) arena, for sure.
“That emotion will help me to another big heavyweight shock after (Andy) Ruiz beating (Anthony) Joshua. This is the year of the upsets.”