Otto Wallin is in London on both business and pleasure this week as he strives to keep his name in conversation when it comes to boxing’s heavyweight scene.
The 31-year-old has been working with Swedish TV during the build-up to Tyson Fury’s title defence against Dillian Whyte at Wembley this Saturday, and has used the opportunity to remind of his willingness to step foot inside the ring with those governing the division.
“It’s good for me to be here and keep myself in the mix,” he told Sky Sports.
Wallin, who explained he is planning to fight an unconfirmed opponent in June, has garnered attention since impressing in his unanimous decision defeat to Fury back in September 2019.
During that fight he famously left the WBC heavyweight champion needing 47 stitches to a cut above his right eye, opened up by Wallin’s left hand in the third round.
The night not only heightened recognition, but also gave him a taste for challenging the best boxing has to offer.
“I think after the Fury fight people started doing that [recognising him as a threat],” he said. “Maybe some people aren’t convinced yet but I will convince them also.
“It’s been hard for me to get fights lately, I just want to stay active and stay busy, keep making my way up the rankings and get a shot.
“I don’t think I’m going to get it for free. With Fury it seems like he’s forgotten my name after the fight because he hasn’t mentioned me once, so that’s the way I’ve got to do it, I’ve got to make my way up the rankings.”
Wallin had been scheduled to face Whyte at the O2 Arena in October last year before the Brixton man was forced to pull out due to a shoulder injury.
Be it him or Fury, Wallin has forgotten about neither and remains keen on another opportunity against this weekend’s headline acts.
“Hopefully, I’m ready for it. I already fought Fury, I was going to fight Whyte so I’m ready for it,” he continued.
Wallin followed up his loss to Fury by stopping Travis Kauffman before recording his most impressive victory yet over Dominic Breazeale via unanimous decision in February 2021. His last fight came in February this year when he beat Kamil Sokołowski on points in Cardiff.
He had emerged as a potential candidate to face Anthony Joshua this summer amid uncertainty over the Brit’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk due to the Ukrainian’s involvement in supporting his nation’s effort against the Russian invasion.
The Swede tweeted in March the “only reason” Joshua would not pick him as an opponent is because of the threat he posed. But just how close was a fight to being agreed?
“It wasn’t very close,” he admitted. “Yes, because Usyk hadn’t made a decision yet, if he would have said no I think I for sure would have been one of the guys to step in.
“I didn’t speak to them [Joshua’s camp] personally. I just think they were just waiting for a decision from Usyk and then they would take it from there.”
Joshua is set to meet Usyk again later this summer as he looks to reclaim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts stripped from him at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
What makes Fury so tough to face?
Such was the impression Wallin left during his meeting with Fury that he has become a popular point of reference this week in regards to advice and insight.
The technical and tactical nous facing Whyte was reiterated at Tuesday’s workout when Fury operated in southpaw throughout his session with trainer SugarHill Steward.
“I think he [Whyte] needs to cut off the ring and hit the body, it’s going to be important,” he said.
“When Fury gets close don’t let him grab you and lean on you and come up with that left hook, maybe he can open up that cut that Fury had on his eye.
“He’s a smart fighter, he knows how to adapt so when he was cut he started being more aggressive and was kind of putting his head on my shoulder so I couldn’t hit the eye.
“He’s a smart guy, that’s what I would give him most credit for.”
Wallin, pulled up into the ring by Fury prior to his public workout Tuesday, has backed his former opponent-turned-apparent friend to outbox Whyte before stopping him late in the fight.
If you wish to purchase Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte on BT Sport Box Office on 23rd April 2022, please visit www.sky.com/boxoffice/btsport .