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Sweden

‘I have to make it all come true for him’: Otto Wallin inspired by his late father and Swedish folk hero Ingemar Johansson as he looks to cause a shock against Tyson Fury

  • Sweden’s Otto Wallin takes on Tyson Fury on Saturday night in Las Vegas
  • Wallin is fuelling inspiration from two of the most influential people in his life
  • As a child, he was told by his father an inspiring story about Ingemar Johansson
  • The latter become a Swedish hero by knocking out Floyd Patterson in New York 
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Two of the most influential people in the life of Otto Wallin fuel his inspiration to come from nowhere and beat not only Tyson Fury but the overwhelming betting odds against him.

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As a child Wallin was told by his father the story of how Ingemar Johansson went to New York sixty years ago this summer and became a Swedish folk hero by knocking out Floyd Patterson in a packed Yankee Stadium to become his country’s only world heavyweight champion.

‘So far…’, says All-In Wallin. A suitable nickname to bring to the gambling capital of the world, even though he is massive 1-36 underdog on the Vegas sports books. ‘I truly believe I can take the lineal title from Fury.’ 

Sweden's Otto Wallin goes head-to-head with Tyson Fury on Saturday night in Las Vegas

Sweden’s Otto Wallin goes head-to-head with Tyson Fury on Saturday night in Las Vegas

The 28-year-old is desperate to beat the overwhelming odds against him this weekend

The 28-year-old is desperate to beat the overwhelming odds against him this weekend

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The 28-year-old is desperate to beat the overwhelming odds against him this weekend

Johansson, who remains a legend in Sweden despite being knocked out by Patterson in the next two fights of their trilogy, passed away ten years ago aged 76.

Carl Wallin died this May, prematurely and suddenly from a heart-attack at 67.

Otto was on his way from his New York home to Sweden to visit his father when heard the news. As he approaches the biggest Saturday night of his 28 years he says: ‘My father was a boxer and he taught me how to fight before he allowed me to go to the gym at the age of 15. Until then I was playing ice hockey and football.

‘But he always told me that when the call came I had the qualities to become a world champion. We were very close. He was looking forward to the day my chance came. It is so sad that he is not here to see one of his sons from a small town in Sweden go onto the biggest stage in world boxing.

Wallin claims many people will know him come Saturday night as he looks to upset Fury
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Wallin claims many people will know him come Saturday night as he looks to upset Fury

Wallin claims many people will know him come Saturday night as he looks to upset Fury

‘But now I have to make it all come true. For him. He made sure I would have the skills both offensively and defensively to take this opportunity, which I’ve been waiting and working for so long. I will feel my father’s presence in the (T-Mobile) arena, for sure.

‘That emotion will help me to another big heavyweight shock after (Andy) Ruiz beating (Anthony) Joshua. This is the year of the upsets.’ 

Wallin was on the verge of fighting Ruiz when the Mexican was called in as a replacement opponent for Joshua. He did box AJ twice in the amateurs, losing both times but says; ‘I’m a much more mature and developed boxer now. The offer to fight Fury came out of the blue but I’m ready.

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‘I know not many people know me now but they will by Saturday night.’ By way of supporting evidence All-In offers and all-win 20 fight record. But even for a 6ft 6in heavyweight it is a stretch to take on Fury, who is a giant not only in height but in ability 

Fury v Wallin will be televised live late Saturday night on BT Sport Box Office.