Otto Wallin will essentially stay busy in another non-televised fight Thursday night in Dearborn, Michigan.
Assuming the favored heavyweight contender defeats Rydell Booker in their 10-round main event, his promoter hopes to land the Swedish southpaw a more meaningful fight later this year. Wallin would welcome a rematch with Tyson Fury at any point, but facing the former WBC champion Fury defeated twice would work as well.
“I think Otto would love to fight Deontay Wilder if Deontay Wilder,” Dmitriy Salita, Wallin’s promoter, told BoxingScene.com. “I think that’s a great fight that makes a lot of sense because Otto gave Tyson Fury the most difficult fight of his career. Obviously, Wilder lost to Fury twice in their memorable trilogy. So, I think that’s the fight that makes the most sense. And I’ve actually reached out to Team Wilder and let them know that Otto can be available.”
Wilder, 36, revealed earlier this week that he intended to continue his career.
The hard-hitting Tuscaloosa, Alabama native suffered a brutal 11th-round knockout loss to Fury in his most recent appearance, which occurred October 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) has fought just once since Fury stopped him in the seventh round of their rematch in February 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Wallin, 31, has had difficulty finding a high-profile opponent since Dillian Whyte withdrew from their October 30 bout in London on 10 days’ notice due to a shoulder injury.
London’s Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs), who was Fury’s mandatory challenger, pursued that title shot once he was healthy, rather than rescheduling his fight with Wallin (23-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC). Fury knocked out Whyte in the sixth round April 23 before a record crowd of approximately 94,000 at Wembley Stadium in London.
“The big fights we want are with Joshua and Usyk, but those guys are tied up,” Salita said in reference to the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch this summer. “So, you know, we would fight Dillian Whyte. That’s still a significant fight, even after what happened with him and Tyson Fury. [Joseph] Parker, [Dereck] Chisora, Joe Joyce, all those fights I think are in play for Otto and are fights we would like to explore.”
Promoter Frank Warren has announced that New Zealand’s Parker (30-2, 21 KOs), a former WBO champion, and London’s Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) will meet on an undetermined date in the United Kingdom.
In his most recent bout, Wallin outpointed Poland’s Kamil Sokolowski (11-26-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder February 5 at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. Detroit’s Booker (26-5-1, 13 KOs) is 41 years old and 0-3-1 in his past four fights, but he has been stopped only by unbeaten Croatian contender Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs).
“Rydell Booker is older, but he can fight,” Salita said. “I saw him in the gym about a month ago and he was really getting ready. He’s taking this fight seriously. It’s a good opportunity for him. He is fighting at home. It’s where he grew up, where his trainers and his boxing memories are. And it’s the most significant fight for him maybe ever as a professional in Detroit. I know that he's coming to fight. Older fighters still have one good [fight] left in the bank. Rydell’s gonna put on a good performance.”
The Salita Promotions card headlined by the Wallin-Booker bout will not be televised or streamed live from Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. It’ll be made available by Friday afternoon on Salita Promotions’ YouTube channel.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.