Who is Otto Wallin? Casuals in the UK are asking themselves this today.
He is, short answer, the heavyweight from Sweden who makes New York home. He wasn’t able to divulge the news, that he’d be fighting one Anthony Joshua on Dec. 23, in Saudi Arabia, just yet, on Monday.
Otto Wallin was enroute to London, for the presser, but the organizers wanted to time the announcement just so, so the affable hitter, chose to defer.
Word dropped harder on Wednesday afternoon, so the 6-5, 32 year old lefty, coming off a win over Murat Gassiev, we can safely say that he told NYFIGHTS he’s pumped to be getting this opportunity.
Would Otto Wallin See Himself Beating AJ As An Upset?
I asked Otto Wallin (26-1, with 14 KOs) this…
“I wouldn’t call it an upset,” said the Swede, trained by Joey Gamache and managed by Fighters First. “I’m gonna win like I should!”
“It’s definitely a dream coming true and it feels great that all the hard work I have put in over the years is finally paying off.”
Otto Wallin has basically been patient, plowed ahead, minimal fuss.
Check out what Otto said on the subject in 2019, this was from a press release….
Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs), WBA and IBF #5 contender, says he is ready to challenge Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title on June 1st in Madison Square Garden. The undefeated Swedish heavyweight is confident he will follow in the footsteps of countryman Ingemar Johansson, who exactly 60 years ago, in June of 1959, took New York by storm when he knocked out Floyd Patterson to take the heavyweight title back to Sweden.
Otto Wallin, 28, is in peak condition, having just fought last Saturday night on Showtime. That fight ended in a No Decision after the 1st round due to a cut above his opponent’s eye. Otto is ready to return to the ring immediately. “I feel great and am ready to go,” said Wallin. “I would love for it to be against Anthony Joshua.”
“Ottomatic” has a history with Joshua. They fought twice in the amateurs and then sparred 200 rounds as Joshua prepared for his title-winning fight against Charles Martin. “Some of Joshua's people told me not to unpack my bags because I wouldn't be staying long,” explained Wallin. He answered their doubts with his fists and spent seven weeks in camp as Joshua's chief sparring partner.
“AJ came to learn that I'm nobody's sparring partner,” Otto Wallin said. “I think he felt that we would one day meet again – not in a spar but a fight. I gave him problems. We were a real test for each other. But Anthony has character and I believe he welcomes a challenge. AJ, tell Eddie Hearn that Ottomatic is the guy you want facing you on June 1, not Michael Hunter.”
Amen, I say.
I’d say that maybe even if the person saying it weren’t like Otto Wallin, which is to say, a nice person.
He’s been nothing but open and up front in chats over the years, whether I was at Talkbox, or for RING, or NYF.
Here's one for hardcores–this story was written by one Jonathan Leir.
If there’s any endeavor for which longtime adherence should result in an ample payoff, it’s boxing, right?