Saturday 14th September sees the latest cab off the rank in the queue for the Lineal Heavyweight Championship.
Tyson Fury’s comeback is now in full swing, but his choices of opponent, other than his agonising draw in a challenge for the WBC Heavyweight Title last December, have been uninspiring at best.
We could make allowances for Sefer Seferi, a blown up Albanian Cruiserweight who wasn’t even the best boxer in his family, who meekly surrendered in four facile rounds in part one of the reboot in Manchester in June last year. This was after a near two year exile from the sport, where Fury infamously ballooned in weight.
At least Francesco Pianeta took Fury the full ten rounds two months later in Belfast, but it was still a laborious watch. Fury nearly completed the miracle comeback, but a monster of a twelfth round knockdown against Deontay Wilder, from which Fury miraculously beat the count, cost him the WBC belt, in a controversial draw.
Fury has had to have a part two of a comeback, due to Wilder’s commitments with the WBC, first blowing away Dominic Breazeale inside a round in May, and he next meets Luis Ortiz in a rematch at a date yet to be confirmed. The earliest Fury and Wilder are set to renew hostilities is February 2020, and this has meant more limited opposition for the Gypsy Warrior.
In June, he made a Las Vegas debut, and hammered the unbeaten Tom Schwarz to defeat inside two rounds at the Thomas & Mack Centre. Schwarz seemed happy to make up the numbers, much like Seferi did last year when he allowed Tyson to cradle him in his arms at the weigh in. Schwarz was even drinking a bottle of cola on fight night.
Fury’s next assignment comes against 28 year old Swede Otto Wallin. The Sundsvall resident is unbeaten in twenty contests, and will come to Sin City with the carat of toppling the Lineal Heavyweight Champion firmly on his mind.
Fury claims that Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, Charles Martin and Trevor Bryant all turned down the contest. So exactly who is Wallin, and what chance, if any, does he have of derailing the Fury express?
Wallin’s amateur record is less than glamourous at 34-12, although he won tournaments nationally and internationally, and also boxed Anthony Joshua twice, losing on points in both contests. He holds a win over Frazer Clarke, a big Team GB Medal hope at the 2020 Olympics. Wallin never got the chance to enter the World or European Championships, electing to turn professional at the age of 22 instead.
June 2013 saw his first pro contest, and he duly knocked out Roman Cherney in Aarhus, Denmark inside a round. His first dozen fights took place in either Denmark or Germany, with all but two ending early.
His early power has started to wane in his last few fights however. In his last nine contests, Wallin has only scored three inside schedule wins in those bouts, and it’s been limited opposition at best.
He did pick up the European Union Title in April last year with a dominant points win over his countryman, Adrian Granat . After a year out, Wallin returned to make a US debut in Atlantic City, but his showcasing was curtailed by a first round no contest with Nick Kisner, an accidental head clash ending matters with Kisner’s cut ruling him out.
Obviously what we do know is Wallin hasn’t tasted defeat as a professional, and will obviously come to Vegas to win, but you can’t help but feel that Fury has chosen the Swede as another opponent for him to look good against on the road to a Wilder rematch.
Fingers crossed that the Heavyweight waters will (finally) clear in 2020.