Wallin receives hero’s welcome in Sweden

Newly emerged top heavyweight contender Otto Wallin enjoyed a national hero’s homecoming yesterday in his native Sweden.

Basking in the glory earned by his epic stand against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last Saturday, September 14, Wallin was greeted at Stockholm airport by countrymen eager to celebrate with their newest sports star and then whisked off for a national media tour.

“It felt great to have such a welcome at home in Sweden,” said a proud Wallin. “The media and the people are really backing me more and more and that’s awesome. Boxing in Sweden needs all the attention it can get and it feels good to be part of helping boxing at home and to be a role model for the kids.”

Wallin sat for several interviews including Sweden’s national publicly funded radio, Sveriges Radio, important sports newspaper Sportbladet and gave an emotional tribute to his late father in SVT’s popular Morning Studio, watched by 36.4% of the country.

Though Wallin was ultimately deemed to have lost on the scorecards after 12 tough rounds, the respect he earned from Fury and boxing fans worldwide has instantly taken him to recognizable status on the heavyweight boxing landscape.

“Otto had an outstanding fight against Tyson Fury and a well-deserved hero’s welcome in his homeland,” said his promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “Although he didn’t get to take home the belt, it feels like he did to his fans in Sweden. As he said after the fight, it was a great learning experience and he’s definitely proven to himself and the boxing world that he is a big part of the heavyweight division. The sky is the limit for Otto and I am very happy that he has achieved celebrity athlete status in the US and back home in Sweden.”

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Fury: ‘Deontay Wilder, I want you next, bum’

Tyson Fury overcame a terrible cut and a stiff challenge from Otto Wallin to successfully defend his lineal heavyweight title via unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 118-110) in front of 8,249 fans at T-Mobile Arena Saturday evening.

Fury, cut from a punch in the third round, survived some anxious moments and rebounded to take control of the bout.

Wallin buzzed Fury in the 12th round with a left hand, but Fury weathered the last-ditch effort. Fury now has his sights set on a much-discussed early 2020 rematch with WBC world champion Deontay Wilder.

“Congrats to Otto – and God bless his father and let him rest in peace,” Fury said. “He would be very proud of Otto’s performance.

“It was a great fight I got cut earlier on the eyelid and changed the fight completely. I couldn’t see out of the left eye and there was a lot of clashes.

“Deontay Wilder, I want you next, bum!

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Fury: ‘Otto Wallin is a tall blonde, just the way I like them’

Tyson Fury sure knows how to dress for the occasion. Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion, entered Tuesday’s media workout in a traditional lucha libre wrestling mask. Fury will defend his title against fellow unbeaten Otto Wallin Saturday at T-Mobile Arena as part of the Las Vegas’ Mexican Independence Day Weekend festivities.

WBO junior featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete will defend his title against Juan Miguel Elorde in the co-feature (ESPN+, 11 p.m. ET), while former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza will take on Mexican veteran Jose Zepeda in a 10-round super lightweight showdown.

The entire undercard, including Pedraza-Zepeda and appearances by Gabriel Flores Jr. and heavyweight sensation Guido Vianello, will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

This is what Fury had to say at the media workout

Tyson Fury

“I’m just enjoying life, taking one day at a time and inspiring people to do well in their life, too.”

“I wore a traditional Mexican mask because it’s Mexican Independence Day Weekend and the ‘Gypsy King’ is here in Las Vegas to put on a show for all the Mexican fans. Viva Mexico!”

“I can defeat all the heavyweights with one hand. As you saw today, lightning speed, lightning reflexes for a giant. I’m a giant of a heavyweight. There has never been a heavyweight like me. There has never been a man of my size who can move like that. I’m a natural freak of nature. I defy every law of gravity. It shouldn’t be possible for a man of my size or my weight to move like that.”

“I have no interest in future fights. One day at a time in my life. One fight at a time, one hour at a time. ‘Cause that’s all we have. We’re not promised tomorrow, so we live every day like it’s our last as our Lord tells us to.”

“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday, a real Mexican, 6-foot-9, 260-pound giant.”

“Do I look like I’m enjoying life? One hundred percent. I’m ecstatic to be alive. A true blessing from God. I’m very thankful that I was given this life. I’m thankful to be here in Las Vegas and thankful for all the people that turned out.”

“Otto Wallin is a tall blonde, just the way I like them. We’ll see what he brings on Saturday.”

Photo: Mikey Williams

Fury: ‘Wallin is a world-ranked fighter and is tall, something we want with the Wilder rematch around the corner’

For Tyson Fury, a win over Otto Wallin will get him one step closer to a rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, which is expected to happen sometime in early 2020. Fury will battle Wallin on Saturday, Sept. 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury-Wallin will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.

Fury (28-0-1 20 KOs) is in the midst of one of the sport’s most remarkable comebacks; a Hollywood script turned reality that has seen him battle back from substance abuse and mental health issues to reclaim his spot atop the sport. After nearly three years out of the ring following the Klitschko triumph, Fury returned in June 2018 and won a pair of fights before his controversial draw versus WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Six months after the Wilder fight, he made short work of Schwarz (24-0 at the time) and will once again fight an undefeated challenger.

“Tyson Fury electrified Las Vegas last time he fought, and he is set to do it again against a tough kid in Otto Wallin,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Tyson knows what’s at stake, and I expect him to have another masterful performance. He is the best heavyweight in the world and is only beginning to show everyone what he’s capable of.”

According to Fury, fighting the 6’5,” Wallin will help him as he prepares for the rematch with Wilder.

“I am pleased to be back in Las Vegas. I loved my time there in my last fight, and I am going to put on a show at the T-Mobile Arena,” Fury said. “Otto Wallin is a world-ranked fighter and is tall, something we want with the Deontay Wilder rematch around the corner. He is also a southpaw, which will bring its own obstacles, but I will be fully focused to get this job done because the rematch needs to happen.”

The undefeated Wallin (20-0, 1 NC, 13 KOs) has been waiting for this moment for a long time and will give it his best shot

“I know I’m an underdog in this fight, but I’m ready for this opportunity, and I’m going to grab it with both hands. Anybody can get beat and especially in the heavyweight division. I like the fact that I have everything to gain, and Tyson has everything to lose.”

‘Don’t mess up the money’ is what has to be going through Fury’s head right now. He should beat Wallin, and for the sake of boxing, let’s hope that is the case because boxing needs Wilder-Fury 2.