Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs), WBA and IBF #5 contender, says he is ready to challenge Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title on June 1st in Madison Square Garden.
The undefeated Swedish heavyweight is confident he will follow in the footsteps of countryman Ingemar Johansson, who exactly 60 years ago, in June of 1959, took New York by storm when he knocked out Floyd Patterson to take the heavyweight title back to Sweden.
Wallin, 28, is in peak condition, having just fought last Saturday night on Showtime. That fight ended in a No Decision after the 1st round due to a cut above his opponent’s eye. Otto is ready to return to the ring immediately.
“I feel great and am ready to go,” said Wallin. “I would love for it to be against Anthony Joshua.”
“Ottomatic” has a history with Joshua. They fought twice in the amateurs and then sparred 200 rounds as Joshua prepared for his title-winning fight against Charles Martin. “Some of Joshua’s people told me not to unpack my bags because I wouldn’t be staying long,” explained Wallin. He answered their doubts with his fists and spent seven weeks in camp as Joshua’s chief sparring partner.
“AJ came to learn that I’m nobody’s sparring partner,” Wallin said. “I think he felt that we would one day meet again – not in a spar but a fight. I gave him problems. We were a real test for each other. But Anthony has character and I believe he welcomes a challenge. AJ, tell Eddie Hearn that Ottomatic is the guy you want facing you on June 1, not Michael Hunter.”
No final decision has been made regarding Joshua’s next opponent but Wallin stands ready to play the spoiler.
“I grew up knowing the legend of Johannson,” Wallin noted. “He came to Yankee Stadium the underdog and made history, which all these years later has affected my life. Given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to become the next Swedish immortal.”