Confident Fury not worried about facing Wallin


Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury sure knows how to entertain.

When the British big man came to the ring for his Las Vegas debut on June 15 for what turned out to be a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Tom Schwarz, he did so wearing a black robe and hood to somber music before ripping it off and revealing a red-white-and-blue getup, including a top hat, to “Living in America” in homage to the famous “Rocky” character Apollo Creed.

On Tuesday, Fury arrived on the casino floor at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a public fight-week workout wearing a traditional lucha libre wrestling mask because his fight with Otto Wallin on Saturday (ESPN+, 11 p.m. ET for main card with preliminaries beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET) at T-Mobile Arena falls on Mexican Independence weekend, a traditional date for a big fight in Las Vegas involving a Mexican boxer.

But when middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, moved off the date to go later in the year while his team worked to get a top opponent, Fury took over for the second bout of his Top Rank/ESPN deal.

“I wore a traditional Mexican mask because it’s Mexican Independence Day weekend and the ‘Gypsy King’ is here in Las Vegas to put on a show for all the Mexican fans. Viva Mexico,” Fury said. “I’m just enjoying life, taking one day at a time and inspiring people to do well in their life, too.”

When the subject turned to the heavyweight division, Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs), 31, of England, who will defend the lineal title for the fifth time, boasted as usual.

“I can defeat all the heavyweights with one hand,” he said. “As you saw today, lightning speed, lightning reflexes for a giant. I’m a giant of a heavyweight. 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.”

Fury faces Wallin already having a signed contract for a rematch with world titlist Deontay Wilder penciled in for Feb. 22. But Fury must defeat Wallin and Wilder must do the same in his rematch with Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, which likely will take place Nov. 23 in Las Vegas, to assure that the sequel of their heavily disputed draw from December takes place.

Fury, however, was in no mood to look ahead to the prospect of the rematch with Wilder.

“I have no interest in future fights. One day at a time in my life. One fight at a time, one hour at a time, ’cause that’s all we have,” Fury said. “We’re not promised tomorrow, so we live every day like it’s our last as our Lord tells us to. You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday, a real Mexican, 6-foot-9, 260-pound giant.”

The 6-5½, 230-pound Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs), 28, a southpaw from Sweden, who is undefeated but untested, is taking a massive step up in competition and excited for the opportunity.

“I don’t know Fury too well, but I came to Las Vegas to put up a great fight and pull off the upset,” Wallin said. “We’ve seen a big upset in the heavyweight division already this year.”

He was referring to Andy Ruiz Jr.’s shocking seventh-round knockout of Anthony Joshua to win three of the four major heavyweight world title belts on June 1 in one the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.

“I’ve dreamed of a fight like this since I was a kid,” Wallin said. “I’ve always wanted to fight a big fight in Las Vegas. 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.”

Fury, however, is a massive favorite and didn’t sound too worried about Wallin.

“Otto Wallin is a tall blonde, just the way I like them,” Fury said. “We’ll see what he brings on Saturday.”


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