Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |



Otto Wallin returns in Wales and wants activity and big fights in 2022

Otto Wallin. Photo by Amanda Westcott/ SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

Heavyweight dangerman Otto Wallin will return to action when he faces tough journeyman Kamil Sokolowski in a scheduled eight-rounder at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff on Saturday.

It will end a frustrating period for Wallin who hasn’t fought in almost a year.

“I’m mostly happy to be fighting again,” Wallin (22-1, 14 knockouts) told The Ring. “I had some bad luck last year, we tried to make some big fights. We had that contract signed with [Dillian] Whyte and he pulled out last minute.

“So, I’m fighting Kamil Sokolowski. He has a bad record but he’s much better than his record says. We’ve been watching him, fighting different opponents and prospects and he does very well with those guys – I feel he beat some of them. It’s going to be a good worthy opponent for me to come back with but I think I’m better than him and I’m going to prove that and why I’m better than those other prospects.”

The 31-year-old New York-based Swedish-born fighter admits there isn’t a plan for him after this fight.

“I’m not sure to be honest, we don’t have anything locked in,” he said. “First and foremost, I’ve got to be busy and kept active. I’ve only had one fight in each of the past two years. This would be a good start. We knew about this fight for a least a month, it was only the opponent we didn’t know. We’ll see what’s next. To keep myself relevant I need to fight and to keep improving I need to fight.”

Wallin had been all set to face Dillian Whyte, who is rated No. 4 by The Ring at heavyweight, last October, only for that fight to be cancelled at nine-days’ notice.

“I felt it was the perfect fight because the winner would fight [Tyson] Fury and it was a great opportunity to fight for the {WBC] Interim belt,” he said. “I feel like Whyte is a fighter I would beat, I felt like it was a great opportunity. Unfortunately, I think he realized that at the last minute and he might get beat and pulled out. He says he was injured.”

Wallin’s long-time trainer, former two-weight world champion, Joey Gamache, says they accepted several fights last year only for them not to happen for various reasons.

“We weren’t just waiting on Whyte,” interjected Gamache. “Earlier [in 2021] we had got offered fights with Charles Martin, we accepted that. Another was Luis Ortiz, we accepted that. Simon Kean, we accepted that and then Dillian Whyte and we accepted that. Otto’s had some bad luck.

“We’ve been offered good fighters and we’ve taken the matches but we haven’t gotten any of them. Now we have this fight night where we really need it more than ever to keep things going.”

Wallin isn’t targeting any particular opponent but is wants to face the best, if he can get them in the ring.

“My dream is to be champion and that’s what I’m working for,” said the rangy southpaw. “I just want to fight whoever will bring me closer to a title fight. I’m open to any fight. We’ve been accepting really good guys. I think I’m up there; I just need more fights to show it to everybody that I deserve another shot.”

Sokolowski is a British-based Polish-born fighter, who turned professional in 2014. In his second fight he lost to Dillian Whyte (TKO 3). Since then, he’s lost more than he’s won but to the 35-year-old’s credit he has been matched tough going 11-24-2 (4 KOs). Only three of those defeats have come inside the distance so he looks more than capable of giving Wallin rounds.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at elrainco[email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright