Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin Live Stream: An interview with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury can become such a roller coaster ride, it’s difficult to figure out from moment to moment what is truth, what is for show and what is a mixture of both.
One thing Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) has noticeably done ahead of Saturday’s return against unbeaten Otto Wallin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (ESPN+, 11 p.m. ET) is turn up the shtick during interviews when asked why he’s facing a stay-busy opponent for the second straight time after signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank that brought his fights to ESPN in the United States.
“Listen, I’m just a boxer. I’m not a promoter, I’m not a manager and I’m not a trainer. I do me job and that’s it,” Fury told the CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast last week. “I go in the ring, smash some people up, get paid and go home — no more and no less. If you want to know about the ins and outs, speak to Bob Arum or Top Rank. I’m sure someone there can help you.”
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Fury’s opponent this weekend is almost assuredly a step up from the laughable matchmaking that saw the “Gypsy King” easily smash unheralded Tom Schwarz in June. Just how much of a step up Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs), a 6-foot-5 Swedish southpaw and former Olympian, proves to be can only be speculated, however, given how unproven he is at the elite level.
Asked what type of fight he expects Wallin to put up, Fury was just as wayward in his response: “One where two heavyweights are going to punch each other right in the face hard.”
The frustration for many is seeing Fury presented for the fourth time in five fights (save for his exciting and controversial draw with WBC champion Deontay Wilder in December) in a fight that is so one-sided on paper. The truth is the 31-year-old Fury, a 6-foot-9 technician with unnatural speed and agility for a man his size, did pursue names much more difficult — including former secondary titleholder Alexander Povetkin — but was unable to secure a deal.
Asked why he’s not rematching Wilder right now instead of announcing months ago that he signed a deal for a second fight in early 2020 despite both having interim fights that could delay or outright ruin their plans, Fury returned to his feisty ways of “You have to speak to Bob Arum about all of that. I told you, I only know about smashing and f—ing motherf—ers up.”
Fury may not be fighting the opponent fans would want on Saturday yet staying busy seems to be part of a larger strategy for the U.K. native of Irish Traveller descent who has come a long way from the substance abuse, mental health and obesity battles in recent years that saw him forced to give up his titles and nearly end his own life.
While the details of Fury’s comeback became the dominant storyline in boxing to close 2018, very little has been said about the struggle of maintaining his return to stability when not matched against opponents dangerous enough to keep his attention.
“I’ve been grinding away daily,” Fury said. “A lot of great boxers say that it’s easy when you have nothing and you’re getting great training in the gym, but it’s hard when you’ve got money and have success. I find that totally wrong. I find it’s a lot easier to get up in the morning when I know I have to put food [on the table] and will go and train my guts out even harder.
“I am training like a trojan warrior here in Las Vegas and I aim to prove that and smash any heavyweight they put in front of me. I can’t do anything more than I can do. I’m the greatest heavyweight who ever lived and ever likely to be born to my planet and I’m going to prove that by smashing every motherf—er who gets in front of me. That’s it and that’s how we roll.”
In one breath, Fury joked about partying with the 87-year-old Arum before declaring how he doesn’t take life, business or even boxing serious because “it’s all a game.” That led to a seemingly coherent rant about life’s fragile truth of never being promised tomorrow, “we are always one punch away from disaster or glory” and his motto of “enjoy, love, share, positive vibes and keep everyone entertained.”
Just minutes later, however, Fury’s enthusiasm about his return to glory in boxing and what that might mean for his long-term legacy should he emerge from this renaissance era of heavyweights seemed to rapidly dissipate.
“I’m not interested in history. I’m not interested in belts, I’m not interesting in legacies. I’m not interested in going down in history as a top bloke. I’m not interested,” Fury said. “I live for today and today ain’t good enough for me. And that’s how I live. I don’t care where they place me in boxing history. I don’t care about anything like title defenses, anything like that. It means absolutely jack s—.
“It’s about on the night, punching people in the face, taking a few back and enjoying the night. That is it. When it’s over, it’s over. Who really gives a flying f— where people put you in life? ‘He was the greatest, no he was the greatest, no he was the greatest!’ No, it’s just some motherf—er’s opinion who don’t really count anyway. When all the doors are closed, who really gives a flying poot sniff about what really goes on in history?”
Those were interesting words from a man who just minutes earlier declared himself “the greatest heavyweight who ever lived” and closed the interview with a rant about how he’s “quite sick” of the boxing scene, in general.
What becomes hard to determine throughout Fury’s playfulness is where the fun stops and the truth begins, or, more importantly, whether he actually knows where that line is.
In the co-main event, Emanuel Navarrete puts his WBO junior featherweight title on the line when he takes on Juan Miguel Elorde. Navarrete (28-1) has been on a roll since making his U.S. debut where he claimed the 122-pound title from Isaac Dogboe. He scored a 12th-round TKO over Dogboe in the rematch before knocking out Francisco de Vaca in the third round in August. Elorde (28-1) will be fighting in the U.S. for the second time in his career.
Wallin has the size and technical skill set to suggest he will push Fury for a few rounds and make this a tactical fight. The problem is, his lack of anything resembling a recognizable name on his resume fails to remove the fear that Wallin won’t be completely out of his element the moment he touches gloves with such a uniquely skilled and elite fighter as Fury.
Against this level of competition, Fury’s only real opponent is himself and how seriously he takes both training camp and his commitment to disarming and finishing who is in front of him. Fury has the skills to make this an easy night but will certainly have pressure to entertain and ultimately stop Wallin should he get him hurt.