LAS VEGAS – Ben Davison doesn’t expect Tyson Fury to have as easy a time with Otto Wallin as the lineal heavyweight champion did when he demolished Tom Schwarz.
Fury is a 25-1 favorite in their fight Saturday night, but his trainer anticipates real resistance from Wallin, an unbeaten but unproven Swedish southpaw. Davison, who assessed Wallin during an interview with reporters Thursday at MGM Grand, feels fans and media are underestimating Wallin because they’re unfamiliar with him.
“The problem is the public haven’t had the opportunity to see the best of Wallin,” Davison said, “because it was very, very difficult for me to get [footage of] his toughest test to date, which was the Adrian Granat fight. And, you know, watching that fight I can see that, fundamentally, he belongs at the world level, fringe world level. But Tyson’s elite, and that’s the difference.
“But he’s a good boxer, fundamentally sound, good amateur background, unbeaten at the minute. Just statistically, physically, alone, 6-foot-6 and a southpaw, with good pedigree, he’s gonna bring his own difficulties. So, you know, he’s not a walk in the park. And I think people expecting a quick blowout will be surprised.”
England’s Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) blew out Germany’s Schwarz (25-1, 17 KOs), who also was undefeated yet untested. Fury dropped Schwarz once and hurt him again before their fight was stopped in the second round June 15 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) has boxed less than one round since he defeated Granat (15-2, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder in April 2018 in Sundsvall, Sweden, Wallin’s hometown. Davison still believes the 6-feet-5, 230-pound contender will surprise people Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
“I think that the first few rounds will be competitive,” Davison said. “Tyson will have to try things, set things up, find out what works, find out what doesn’t work. And then, gradually, as the fight goes, I believe Tyson will start to take over. I think if there is a problem [for] Otto, Otto’s gotta make a decision where he’s not gonna wanna get dominated early. And I think he’s gonna try to match Tyson early, try to box with Tyson early, be extra-sharp early. But I think that will end up being his downfall, in terms of him deteriorating.”
ESPN+ will stream Fury-Wallin in the United States as the main event of a card that’ll start at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. It’ll also headline a BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom (£19.95).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.