Many fans are certainly aware that the Mexican holidays are usually reserved for the sport’s premier star Canelo Alvarez.
However, this year Canelo has pushed back his fight day and is widely expected to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November.
So we’ll see the ‘Gypsy King’ (28-0-1, 20 KOs) face undefeated Swedish contender Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs) instead.
Tale of the Tape
Fury is coming off his impressive Vegas debut in June against Tom Schwarz, which he dominated and ultimately stopped the German inside two rounds.
He can ill afford to have an off night against Wallin on Saturday, as he needs a victory to keep the rematch with Deontay Wilder alive. Fury and Wilder fought to an entertaining albeit disappointing points draw back in December with many fans believing that the popular Brit did enough to get the nod.
He managed this despite being knocked down and nearly taken out in the 12th round only to somehow miraculously recover and finish the fight strong against the powerful American.
In essence, there is a lot riding on this performance if the so-called lineal champion hopes to unify the heavyweight division again after defeating long-time WBA, IBF and WBO kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.
Problems outside of the ring prevented the Manchester fighter from capitalizing from that historic triumph, but he returned rejuvenated after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus.
A couple of low profile fights, followed by his great showing against Wilder places Fury back in title contention. Despite Wallin’s respectable credentials, he is expected to provide only a marginally greater challenge than Schwarz.
He stands an imposing 6ft 6in with a 78” reach but will still be dwarfed by his opponent on fight night. The 28-year old has only seen one competitive round which was ruled a no-contest against Nick Kisner in the past 17 months.
Wallin says, “I am fighting probably the best heavyweight out there, at least the best boxer. He is a big guy, uses his size well. He is very skilled and can do a lot of things in there. He is tricky and has beaten good fighters.”
Most observers agree that Wallin has a monumental task in front of him and few are giving him much of a chance as they see the fight as a low-risk option ahead of bigger pay-days for Tyson.
Fury will have every advantage in this fight in terms of size, power and technique. The popular Brit has not been an underdog since snatching the reigns from Klitschko. Fury’s choice of opponent has been mocked by Wilder and Anthony Joshua as he fights yet another relative unknown. Wallin is an aggressive fighter, who throws good body shots in an attempt to wear his opponents down. This is a huge step-up in competition for the promising southpaw and there is nothing to suggest that he is up to the task. Fury should win another one in style as he continues to prep for a Wilder rematch in early 2020.
Verdict: Tyson Fury by knockout in the fifth round.
WBO junior featherweight world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will make the third defense of his title versus Filipino contender Juan Miguel Elorde as the co-feature to lineal heavyweight champion Fury’s title defense against Wallin. One of boxing’s most active world champions, Navarrete (28-1, 24 KOs) shocked the boxing world last December in New York City with an upset decision win over Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe to win the title. Five months later, he repeated the feat, this time stopping Dogboe in the 12th round in Tucson, Arizona.
Elorde (28-1, 15 KOs) has won 18 bouts in a row since a four-round decision loss in November 2011, most recently scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Japanese contender Shohei Kawashima to retain his WBO Asia Pacific belt.
In a 10-round super lightweight special attraction, former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza will fight two-time world title challenger Jose “Chon” Zepeda. Pedraza (26-2, 13 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, has captured world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight. His WBO lightweight title reign was brief, as he lost a competitive unanimous decision to Vasiliy Lomachenko last December in a highly anticipated unification bout. Pedraza rebounded in impressive fashion in May, knocking out the big-hitting Antonio Lozada Jr. in nine rounds. Zepeda (30-2, 25 KOs), who lived in Guerrero Negro, Mexico, until the age of 10, is two fights removed from a majority decision defeat to Jose Ramirez for the WBC super lightweight world title. A southpaw who began boxing after moving to Southern California, Zepeda is seeking a third world title opportunity.
Rounding out the remaining card will be Former longtime WBC super-flyweight world champion Carlos Cuadras (38-3-1, 27 KOs), Gabriel Flores Jr. (14-0, 6 KOs), the 19-year-old sensation from Stockton, California along with Heavyweight prospect Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (4-0, 4 KOs), who represented his native Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics.