Fury not looking past Wallin as Wilder return looms
British heavyweight Fury faces Sweden’s Wallin in a non-title bout at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena, aiming for a convincing win to boost his US following and stoke excitement ahead of a February 22 date with Wilder.
Fury, who knocked out Germany’s Tom Schwarz inside two rounds in his Las Vegas debut in June, is heavily favoured to score a similar victory against Wallin, a 28-year-old southpaw who is unbeaten in 20 fights.
A decisive win for the 31-year-old “Gypsy King” will keep the hype simmering for next year’s rematch with Wilder.
Fury, though, is adamant that he remains solely focused on the challenge posed by Wallin this weekend.
“I have no interest in future fights,” Fury (28-0-1, 20 knockouts) said this week. “One day at a time in my life. One fight at a time, one hour at a time.
“‘Cause that’s all we have. We’re not promised tomorrow, so we live every day like it’s our last as our Lord tells us to.”
Fury, who delighted US fans by copying the ring entrance of “Rocky” movie character Apollo Creed in his last outing, has appealed to Mexican fight fans for this weekend’s contest, which comes as Mexico prepares to celebrate its Independence Day next Monday.
He appeared at a public event in Las Vegas this week wearing a traditional Mexican “lucha libre” wrestling mask, vowing to “put on a show for all the Mexican fans.”
“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday, a real Mexican, 6ft 9in (2.05m), 260-pound (117kg) giant,” Fury declared.
Fury, who climbed off the canvas after a 12th round knockdown to draw with Wilder last December, remains supremely confident of his place in the pecking order of the current heavyweight division.
“I can defeat all the heavyweights with one hand,” he said. “There has never been a heavyweight like me. There has never been a man of my size who can move like that.
“I’m a natural freak of nature. I defy every law of gravity. It shouldn’t be possible for a man of my size or my weight to move like that.”
Wallin meanwhile is dreaming of becoming the first Swede to win the heavyweight title since Ingemar Johansson, who famously upset Floyd Patterson in 1959 before losing the rematch the following year.
“I’ve dreamed of a fight like this since I was a kid,” Wallin said. “All of my hard work has paid off and led me to this moment.
“Sweden’s last heavyweight champion was Ingemar Johansson, and that was 60 years ago. So to make that type of history would be extra special.”
The last word, though, went to Fury.
Asked to assess his Swedish challenger, he joked: “Otto Wallin is a tall blonde, just the way I like them.
“We’ll see what he brings on Saturday.”
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