Over the weekend, which was of course dominated by Canelo Alvarez Vs. Jermell Charlo, heavyweight contender Otto Wallin pulled off a 12 round split decision win over former cruiserweight champ Murat Gassiev. The fight in Turkey kind of flew under the radar (apart from in Turkey, quite obviously), but for Swedish southpaw Wallin, the win could/would/should lead to bigger things.
Wallin, who was able to take Gassiev’s best shots and not make much of a deal about it, picked up valuable points with his jab. It wasn’t a great fight, but for Wallin, the points win could prove to be valuable. The scores were pretty crazy in Turkey – with Wallin winning (deservedly) by two scores of 115-113, with the third judge somehow scoring the fight an absurd 117-111 for Gassiev.
But the right man won, and now Wallin – beaten only by Tyson Fury, upon whom Wallin inflicted one of the worst cut eyes seen this side of Lennox Lewis-Vitali Klitschko – now moves on. To what and where, nobody knows. But Wallin, 26-1(14) remains a player in the division, indeed. Wallin, who has seen big fights with the likes of Dillian Whyte and one or two others fail to come off, is very much president of the current ‘who needs him club.’ But Wallin is hoping for another big chance all the same.
The win over Gassiev, who had previously only been beaten by Oleksandr Usyk, will not have done Wallin any harm.
Here are some match ups we, and no doubt Wallin, would like to see:
Wallin-Derek Chisora (as much as Chisora is insistent on carrying on fighting)
Wallin-Joe Joyce (if Joyce wishes to carry on after his nasty loss to Zhilei Zhang)
Wallin-Jared Anderson (a real test for “The Real Big Baby”)
Wallin-Whyte (if Whyte can clear his name after his failed drugs test, the one that saw his return fight with Joshua fall through)
Wallin-Frazer Clarke (a fight that would be a real test for unbeaten Olympian Clarke).
Wallin is now 6-0 since his September 2019 decision loss to Fury.