Otto Wallin feels he is entitled to a fight with one of the heavyweight division’s biggest names.
The southpaw Swede has recently been floated as a potential opponent for former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of London for the first quarter of next year. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, mentioned Wallin as a kind of respectable rebound fight for Joshua, who is coming off two consecutive losses to unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Wallin, who lives and trains out of New York City and is promoted by Dmitry Salita, made a name for himself in 2019, when he put up a valiant effort against Tyson Fury in Las Vegas. Although Fury won wide on the scorecards, Wallin had Fury in dire straits at one point, after a gash opened up above his right eye. Since then, Wallin has reeled off four straight wins, mainly against middling opposition.
Now, the contender is hoping to jump back into the deep end against a formidable opponent, and there are few fights apparently more appealing to the Swede than one involving Joshua.
“Well, they haven’t reached out to me personally, but I know there have been talks between Eddie and Dmitry, my promoter,” Wallin told SecondsOut. “There’s some talks there. I don’t know if there are any updates on it. I’m hoping there will be. I would really like that fight. Joshua, I still consider him one of the best in the division and he’s a really big name. By fighting him and beating him I think it could really propel my name and take me to new heights. I think I deserve that fight.
“I fought Fury, gave him a really good fight, and then had a win over Travis Kauffman, Dominic Breazeale. Then I took a couple of stay-busy fights. It’s been a little frustrating at times, but I think these big fights are going to come and I know I’m ready for that. I just hope I get the fights that I deserve.”
Wallin (24-1, 14 KOs) feels Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) has not been mentally the same after his last defeat to Usyk in their 12-round title fight in Saudi Arabia. After Usyk was announced as the winner, Joshua reacted poorly, grabbing the mic and going on an extended, self-regarding tangent.
“I still think he’s one of the best in the division, but he might have lost a little bit of confidence along the way,” Wallin said. “I think he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders and I think that showed in the Usyk fight and afterward.
"So we’ll see. I hope he comes back good. I want to fight him, of course.”