Yesterday Otto Wallin went out to challenge his compatriot Adrian Granat in what will be one of the biggest domestic fights ever to take place on Swedish soil - the country that until 2013 was one among three countries in the world (the others North Korea, Jemen and Cuba) to disallow professional boxing. The fight will most likely be for the EU-title and the winner will climb further towards the top.
Granat and Wallin started off as professionals roughly at the same time in 2013 and has climbed higher and higher on the worlds rankings. At the moment, Wallin has taken the lead since Granat lost to Alexander Dimitrenko, 49-3 (20 on WBC) and Wallin defeated Gianluca Mandras, 11-3 (top 200 on boxrec).
Granat received the news when training with head coach Armand Krajnc in the small town Ystad in the south of Sweden.
Granat: "I welcome this fight. It is a fight we have wanted for a long time and it is really good for Swedish boxing that fight can take place. However, right now I am focusing on my next bout on December 22 in Hamburg. In order to fight Wallin, I must first win on December 22. Failure is not an option."
Last time a big domestic fight took place in Sweden was the fight between Armand Krjanc (former WBO-champ and today Granat's trainer) and Paolo Roberto. The fight was very well liked by the Swedish people.
If Granat wins the bout on December 22 in Hamburg, a press conference will be summoned as soon as possible.
IN OTHER NEWS: AIBA is proud to announce that its inaugural legacy project the Year of Africa has been nominated for a 2017 Peace and Sport Award. With education at its heart, the year-long initiative has already brought new horizons for the region’s boxing by offering 4,835 course places and bringing about a 250% increase in Africa’s pool of officials. An estimated 750,000 young people have been given an up-close introduction to the magic of boxing thanks to the Year of Africa Truck’s mobile ring touring the continent, bringing US$100,000 worth of Taishan boxing equipment donations to local schools and gyms.
As well as uncovering a new wave of potential champions, educating officials and training coaches, the legacy is already being felt with four NFs putting long-term development projects in place. Now, AIBA is in the process of adapting the Year of Africa blueprint for the second edition, having announced 2018 to be the Year of the Caribbean.
The Year of Africa is one of three nominations in the Event of the Year category which highlights a sports event that successfully promotes a message of peace and illustrates its ability to bring communities together. Boxing will also be showcased at the gala event held in Monaco on 7 December, with an exhibition bout being held between India and Pakistan as well as a boxing masterclass for kids from a local gym.