The pressure is on Tyson Fury. No, Sweden’s Otto Wallin won’t be any sort of threat in the ring, but there’s going to be a serious backlash if Fury makes this fight as tedious as putting together some Scandinavian flat-pack furniture.
The bout in Vegas has the support of Emanuel Navarrete’s super bantamweight world title fight with Juan Miguel Elorde and the all-Latin lightweight bout between Jose Pedraza and Jose Zepeda – and we’ve got the best Acca construction kit in the business.
While a prime Fury waits for his rematch heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder, his handlers have to keep the big man away from the temptations of the pub and the kebab shop. So, this Saturday Tyson marks time with a fight against the unheralded Wallin.
The Swede is unbeaten in 20 bouts but he’s yet to face a notable opponent, and his 13 KO victories have come against the weariest of journeymen. Wallin has been used as a sparring partner by some of the top heavyweights though, including current world number four, Anthony Joshua.
Mexican independence weekend is a big deal and Vegas normally serves up a Canelo special as the main entertainment, but with the ginger superstar out until the end of the year Fury is adopting the tricolor of green, white, and red.
I am fully expecting ‘The Gypsy King’ to come out in a sombrero with a mariachi band in tow, but he’ll be expected to deliver a ‘Mexican-style’ thrashing to his humble challenger.
Fury is in the shape to put on a devastating performance and he’s found a new vicious side. In his last fight, the 6’9” Brit doled out a beating for two rounds before Tom Schwarz was retired, but I think southpaw Wallin will prove to be a touch tougher and more elusive.
The bout between Navarrete and Elorde must be the biggest in super bantamweight championship history – not because these two are so famous or so good, but because they are both literally huge. At the weigh in, these two will tip the scales at 122 pounds or less (8st 10lbs, 55 kg) but they stand 5’7” and 5’8” tall respectively!
Navarrete is the champion since beating Britain’s Isaac Dogboe last December and he cemented his status with a conclusive KO of Dogboe in the rematch five months later. He demolished Francisco De Vaca in less than three rounds just one month ago and he’s back in the ring this Saturday.
Elorde is a good, solid Filipino boxer and his only loss came eight years, so making him an 12/1 outsider seems a bit ridiculous to me. No doubt the Mexican champ should be favourite, but with the physical and mental fatigue of his gruelling schedule I think this could be a close fight.
In the battle of the ‘Joses’, Paddy is struggling to split Puerto Rico’s Pedraza and Mexican-American Zepeda. Pedraza was a champ at super feather and lightweight, and this bout at 140 pounds shouldn’t be a stretch too far for a man who is as tall as most super lightweights.
Pedraza has the faster hands and his ability to switch stances should enable him to counter his southpaw opponent. Zepeda is a decent boxer who carries power and a durable chin, and I expect it to be a fight full of action, but I think the Puerto Rican will convince the judges to give him the decision.