Heavyweight contender Otto Wallin could be on the cusp of fighting for a world title belt or one of the best fighters in the division.

In the meantime, Wallin is in a stay-busy fight tonight, squaring off against Rydell Booker in a 10-round bout at the Ford Community Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

Wallin (23-1 1 No Contest, 14 knockouts), who is originally from Sundsvall, Sweden and now resides in New York City, New York, is coming off a decision win over journeyman Kamil Sokolowski in his last bout on February 5. He has won his last three fights since his decision loss to Tyson Fury in June 2019, including wins over Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale. 

The 31-year-old is hoping to land a significant fight later this year. So is promoter Dmitriy Salita, who believes Wallin has improved as a fighter and is capable of having his arm raised in victory against any fighters in the heavyweight division.

“Otto Wallin is one of the best heavyweights in the world,” Salita told BoxingScene late Wednesday night. “With Tyson announcing his retirement, and (Anthony) Joshua facing (Oleksandr) Usyk (later this year), the top heavyweights are not available. As a promoter with in-ring boxing experience, I believe it is important for any fighter, and particularly Otto, to stay busy and active in the ring. Rydell is a good battle-tested heavyweight.

“This is a great fight and an opportunity for Detroit boxing fans to enjoy top-level heavyweight action. Otto Wallin is the highest-rated heavyweight to fight in Detroit since (Mike) Tyson-(Andrew) Golota, which happened in October 2000.”

Booker (26-5-1, 13 KOs), who resides in nearby Detroit, last fought on March 26, losing by unanimous decision to Marcin Siwy of Poland. The 41-year-old is winless in his last four bouts, including losses to Kubrat Pulev and Filip Hrgovic.

In the co-feature, unbeaten junior welterweight contender Shohjajon Ergashev will face Luis Alberto Veron in a 10-round bout.

Ergashev (21-0, 19 KOs), who is originally from Rakhmon, Uzbekistan and now resides in Detroit, knocked out overmatched Aekkawee Kaewmanee in the opening round of his last bout on December 11. 

The 30-year-old has appeared on a handful of ShoBox telecasts. In a clash of unbeatens in January 2018, Ergashev battered Sonny Fredrickson before ending matters in the third round. Ergashev also has wins over Mykal Fox, Abdiel Ramirez and Adrian Estrella.

Salita believes Ergashev can also face and defeat the upper echelon of the junior welterweight division.

“Ergashev is back in the United States, training with SugarHill (Steward) and gunning for world titles in the junior welterweight division,” said Salita. “He is fighting an experienced good fighter who has never been dropped or stopped, a great test and (an) opportunity for the power-punching Ergashev. I believe he has superstar potential.”

Veron (19-3-2, 9 KOs), who resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, defeated Leonardo Amitrano by unanimous decision in his last bout on October 1. He had lost his previous two fights by decision to Taras Shelestyuk and Elvis Rodriguez. 

Junior welterweight Marlon Harrington (7-0, 6 KOs) of Detroit will square off against Azael Cosio (21-9-2, 18 KOs) of Lima, Peru in an eight-round bout.

Also on the card will be super middleweight Joseph Hicks, Jr. (1-0, 1 KO), lightweight Ferris Dixon, Jr. (2-0, 1 KO), Husam Al Mashhadi (3-0, 3 KOs), and middleweight Da’Velle Smith (2-0, 2 KOs) in separate bouts.

“The rest of the card features some of the best prospects in boxing,” said Salita. “Marlon Harrington, U.S. Olympic Team captain Joe Hicks, Smith and others. I believe this is one of the best non-world championship cards in recent times. Going forward, we are working on opportunities to find an appropriate TV partner to get ‘Detroit Brawl’ shows broadcast to boxing fans worldwide. This show will be available (on) tape-delay on Salita Promotions and Detroit Brawl YouTube channels.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with first bell scheduled for 7 p.m.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing