Otto Wallin is capitalising on his rise to prominence and took the biggest scalp of his career on Saturday night, overcoming Dominic Breazeale in Connecticut.
Featuring on the undercard of Adrien Broner’s comeback victory over Jovanie Santiago at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Wallin dominated proceedings against former two-time world title challenger, Breazeale, earning an unanimous decision win to follow up his victory over Travis Kauffman at the same venue in August.
For the Swede, it’s a standout win on his 23 fight resume to date and a second since a valiant and solitary career loss to Tyson Fury in October 2019.
The 30-year-old’s profile shot up after he had Fury in the biggest crisis of his career, forcing the Brit to fight withstand a gaping cut for nine rounds, with some arguing the fight should have been stopped.
Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs) will now look to secure another high-profile bout and is ranked in the top 15 by both the IBF and WBA in pursuit of former sparring partner and unified Heavyweight world champion, Anthony Joshua.
Here are some of the options for him, as he looks to truly establish himself in a stacked division:
Kubrat Pulev proved against Anthony Joshua in December that he still has plenty to give, despite entering the twilight years of his career.
Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) displayed all his grit and toughness to survive an early onslaught and pose the Brit some questions during the middle rounds, before succumbing to a brutal ninth round knockout defeat.
The Bulgarian has heaps of experience, with two Heavyweight title fights under his belt and would look to utilise that pedigree if he was to taken on the Swede.
Wallin admitted post-fight that he was still learning his craft, but the sport is all about timing and at 39-years-old this could be the perfect time to face ‘The Cobra’ and catapult his name right into the mix, with victory over a veteran Heavyweight contender and would improve his position in the IBF standings, with Pulev rated at #10, whilst Wallin trails at #13.
A potential crossroads fight with rising Chinese Heavyweight Zhilei Zhang could be another possibility, should he come through his upcoming fight unscathed.
Zhang (22-0, 17 KOs) takes on former Carlos Takam foe Jerry Forrest on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s Super Middleweight world title defence against Avni Yildirim in Miami on Saturday.
The former Olympic Silver medalist is targeting future meetings with the likes of Derek Chisora and Joe Joyce, according to his advisor, although a battle with Wallin could make sense for all parties, with the 37-year-old untested at world level, but with solid potential.
Zhang is ranked just behind his rival in #14 with the IBF and at #8 with the WBO, paving the way for an eliminator and with his lack of experience against the top Heavyweights, Wallin would provide a genuine test, whilst giving the latter an opportunity to defeat an big-punching, undefeated fighter and further his claims for a title shot.
Frank Sanchez is another member of the chasing pack of Heavyweights and requires a step-up.
The hard-hitting, undefeated Cuban claimed a 17th straight victory over the tough Julian Fernandez, securing a seventh round stoppage on the undercard of stablemate Canelo’s win over Callum Smith at the Alamodome in December.
The 28-year-old is part of Eddy Reynoso’s stable of fighters including, Alvarez, Ryan Garcia, Andy Ruiz Jr and Oscar Valdez, who spectacularly knocked out Miguel Berchelt on Saturday night to become WBC Super Featherweight world champion.
Sanchez (17-0, 13 KOs) has called for a showdown with Joshua and is ranked at #6 by the WBO in pursuit of AJ.
Crucially for Wallin, he is rated just above him by the WBA, making a potential match-up more feasible.
‘The Cuban Flash’ could go down the WBO route, although is unlikely to get a straight shot at Joshua, who is set to face Tyson Fury later this year, whilst he also lacks experience with high-calibre names and could be forgiven for biding his time.
Hughie Fury impressed last time out, as he battled to an unanimous decision win over the durable Mariusz Wach in December.
Former world title challenger, Fury (25-3, 14 KOs) showed a wider variety to his game and let his hands go with vigour to see off the Pole.
The Mancunian is not ranked in the top 15 and fighting Wallin would give him that reward and for the Swede, a chance to come to the UK to face another Fury and well-known Brit, could be an enticing prospect and generate significant interest, with Wallin’s profile also familiar, due to his performance against Hughie’s cousin, Tyson.
Let us know below who you would like to see Otto Wallin face next.