UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Otto Wallin joined some elite company Saturday night.
The Swedish southpaw isn’t as powerful as Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua, but he became just the third heavyweight to defeat Dominic Breazeale. Wallin battered Breazeale for much of their 12-rounder and easily beat Breazeale on the scorecards in the second of three fights Showtime televised from Mohegan Sun Arena.
Wallin won by big margins according to judges Tony Paolillo (117-111), Waleska Roldan (118-110) and Tom Schreck (116-112).
Breazeale’s only prior losses came against Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ, and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), the former WBC champ.
The 6-feet-7, 261-pound Breazeale bravely fought through severe swelling around his right eye, never stopped coming forward and had some success in the later rounds, when Wallin’s punch output decreased. Breazeale (20-3, 18 KOs) mostly absorbed a brutal beating, though, and took countless flush punches throughout his first fight in nearly two years.
“We knew coming in that I had better footwork, better speed, so I wanted to use that,” Wallin said during a post-fight press conference. “And I’ve got good defense, too. He hit me here and there, but nothing too serious. So, I mean, I said before the fight that I’ve just gotta do what I’m good at, and that’s what I was trying to do.”
Breazeale, 35, fought for the first time since Wilder knocked him out in the first round of their WBC heavyweight title fight in May 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
This was still a quality win for the 30-year-old Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), who is best known for his only loss – a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in September 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Wallin landed a hard left to Breazeale’s body about 30 seconds into the 12th round. A right hand by Breazeale backed up Wallin with about 35 seconds to go in their fight.
Breazeale fell on top of Wallin as the entangled heavyweights went crashing to the canvas early in the 11th round. Neither fighter was affected by that fall and the action resumed almost as soon as they reached their feet.
Breazeale landed more punches in that 11th round, but Wallin drilled him with a straight left hand just before it ended.
Breazeale had some success in the 10th round, when he followed Wallin around the ring and landed several right hands.
Breazeale trapped Wallin in a neutral corner about 30 seconds into the ninth round, but Wallin made him pay with another hard, straight left hand. Breazeale landed a right hand that knocked Wallin off balance briefly toward the end of the ninth round.
A ringside physician looked at Breazeale’s swollen right eye before allowing the eighth round to start. Breazeale landed a couple of right uppercuts several seconds apart in that round, but Wallin took those punches well.
Wallin belted Breazeale with another straight left about 30 seconds into the seventh round. Callas warned Wallin for a low blow later in the seventh.
Just before the seventh round ended, Wallin blasted Breazeale with yet another hard left that knocked Breazeale backward.
Wallin landed a right to Breazeale’s body and then a left downstairs with just over a minute remaining in the sixth round. Breazeale continued to wing wild shots at Wallin, but rarely landed anything flush.
Wallin blasted Breazeale with a left hand that backed him up barely 35 seconds into the fifth round. By then, the swelling surrounding Breazeale’s right eye had become noticeable.
Breazeale bravely kept coming forward, but Wallin almost couldn’t miss him with his straight left hand in that fifth round.
A straight left by Wallin connected cleanly about 25 seconds into the fourth round. Just as he had done in many of his previous fights, Breazeale took that shot and kept pressing forward.
Wallin snuck another left around Breazeale’s guard toward the end of the fourth round.
Wallin’s straight left landed barely 30 seconds into the third round. He landed another one with just under two minutes left in the third round.
Wallin landed a stiff jab just after the midway mark of the second round. Breazeale blasted Wallin with a right hand that made Wallin move away from him with just over a minute remaining in the second round.
Wallin’s straight left landed with about 15 seconds to go in that second round.
Breazeale was the aggressor for much of the first round. Wallin landed a right hook to the side of Breazeale’s head that made Breazeale back up with 30 seconds to go in that opening round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.