Otto Wallin isn’t much for bluster. In a heavyweight division loaded with big mouths (Tyson Fury), big personalities (Oleksandr Usyk) and big brands (Anthony Joshua), Wallin stands in contrast – a small-town guy who is about as low-key as a 6-foot-5½, 240-pound world-class heavyweight boxer can be walking through this world.

Yet Wallin has seen a fair number of corners of it in his 33 years, for which he says he is eternally grateful to boxing. And although his upcoming fight against Nigeria’s Onoriode Ehwarieme at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino on July 26 won’t be his first time in Atlantic City, New Jersey, it does mark the next stride in a journey that has whisked Wallin from Sundsvall, Sweden (population: 58,807), to within a step of boxing’s pinnacle – a world heavyweight title shot.

“All thanks to boxing,” Wallin told BoxingScene. “I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for boxing.”

Wallin (26-2, 14 KOs) picked up the sport at age 15, fell in love and just … kept going. His world began to open up as an amateur, and when he turned pro in 2013, at age 22, he moved to Berlin. He fought in Germany and Denmark before making appearances back in Sweden, moved to Copenhagen and then took fights in Bulgaria and Latvia, too. When his trainer, Joey Gamache – a former two-division titleholder who was working with Team Sauerland in Denmark – decided to move to New York City in 2017, Wallin packed his bags.

The move opened doors stateside and, after making his first fight in Atlantic City, at historic Boardwalk Hall, Wallin suddenly found himself in Las Vegas facing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Although Fury spoiled Wallin’s undefeated record in that 2019 bout, Wallin – an agile southpaw – gave Fury work, plus a little something to remember him by: a cut over his right eye that required 47 stitches.

Wallin has since fought in the U.S., England, Turkey and, in his most recent bout, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he fell to a revitalized Anthony Joshua. Fury and Joshua, each of whom has held the title of undisputed world heavyweight champ, remain the only fighters to have bested Wallin as a pro.

Not that he seems terribly concerned about those results. Wallin’s vibe is less “victory or death” than “trust the process.” You’re unlikely to hear him lament the loss of his “0” or agonize over lost opportunities. He is equal parts rise-and-grind and stop-and-smell-the-roses. Wallin enjoys taking the subway to Mendez Boxing club in Harlem, sweating out his reps with Gamache and soaking up the gym’s competitive atmosphere. Boxing, like life, is a rich tapestry.

“I always try to make the most out of it,” Wallin said. “Just take it as seriously as I can and try to get better every day – just kind of be the best boxer that I can be.”

And so the Otto Wallin World Tour continues?

“I mean, boxing has given me so much – travel, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures,” Wallin said. “So it's really been great. And, I mean, I love New York. I don’t want to leave. I think it’s a really nice place. It's great people, a lot of opportunity and, especially as a boxer, it's a really nice place to be.”