It’s been a rough month for Otto Wallin.
Four weeks ago, the Swedish heavyweight contender suffered a stress fracture in his left foot that cost him what was supposed to be a televised fight versus Lucas Browne. Now Wallin is certain he has contracted coronavirus.
Wallin told BoxingScene.com on Monday night that he has numerous symptoms of COVID-19, which has caused a pandemic. He hasn’t been tested because his symptoms aren’t bad enough to warrant a trip to one of New York’s overwhelmed medical centers and Wallin wanted the test he could’ve taken to be given to someone who needs it more than him.
Instead, Wallin has quarantined himself since March 14 in his Manhattan apartment.
“For me, it’s been very mild,” said Wallin, who first revealed his situation to TMZ on Monday night. “I had a cough, I was sneezing and I felt like I had a light fever. But I didn’t have a fever, actually. And then, I started feeling better. But then, I lost all of my sense of taste and smell. I don’t have any smell still, but the taste is coming back. I feel fine. That’s kind of the scary part. I haven’t been feeling bad, but I most likely have it. That’s why everybody needs to follow the guidelines and stay inside as much as possible and keep practicing social distancing. It can be really serious to some people.”
Wallin’s mother showed symptoms of coronavirus when she returned to Sweden on March 14 after visiting her son in New York City, where more than 12,300 coronavirus cases had been confirmed as of Monday night. His mother’s boyfriend became symptomatic when she returned to Sweden and he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
“My mother’s boyfriend is doing good, but he almost had a blood clot,” said Wallin, who lives and trains in Manhattan. “That’s why he went to the hospital. He had a high fever and all of the symptoms. But then he had really bad back pain, and that’s what made him go to the hospital. So, he was close to having a blood clot. They solved that, but then he tested positive for the virus. That’s the hard part, that you can spread it to others.”
Wallin’s mother hasn’t been tested because her symptoms haven’t been bad enough.
“They wouldn’t test my mom because her symptoms was like a flu,” Wallin said. “She had a high fever, but nothing worse really than a flu. And for me, it’s been even lighter. I was debating with myself if I had symptoms or not. I was sneezing and coughing, but not too bad. When I lost my smell and taste, that really confirmed it.”
The 6-feet-5, 235-pound Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) gave unbeaten WBC champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) one of the toughest tests of Fury’s career six months ago at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old Wallin was supposed to square off against Australia’s Browne (29-2, 25 KOs) in a fight Showtime committed to televising this Saturday night from Park MGM in Las Vegas.
Wallin withdrew from that 10-round bout due to his aforementioned foot injury. The entire show later was postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.