'Usyk has always complained about body shots' Otto Wallin targets champion ahead of Murat Gassiev clash

Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin (25-1, 14 KOs) collides with former cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev at the unlikely destination of the Regnum Carya Hotel, Antalya in Turkey on September 30.

A reasonably significant fight for the division, which will see the race for Oleksandr Usyk’s WBA title restart since he dispatched of Daniel Dubois last month in Wroclaw, Poland.

“I feel great, I’ve know about the fight for a while despite the recent announcement.” Walllin said in exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “It has been a while since I’ve had a real big fight. We have had enough time to prepare, so I feel really good, we fly over next week. This is the sort of fight I have been waiting for, I needed a big fight like this. With the WBA [Inter-Continental] title on the line it can get me in a great position, we’ve also been promised a number 2 spot by the IBF if we win this fight. I'm coming there to do a job on him. I’ve seen lots of things I can exploit when I’ve been watching him. To be honest he is a pretty basic guy. He tries to bully, he comes forward with his hands up and tries to land big punches. Nothing extraordinary.”

“It has been a very quiet period of my career, and frustrating. I’m just relieved this is happening. I have had a few changes in the camp, same trainer with Joey Gamache still, we’ve been together for ten years now, which is pretty amazing. But I have changed my management. I have left [Dmitriy] Salita, no bad feeling with them, but it was time for a fresh start. So I’m with Jolene Mizzone and Fighters First Management for this fight.”

The mandatory position for Usyk’s WBA world title is somewhat up for grabs considering his most recent win over Dubois squashed any praying contenders ranked in the organisation, for now.

“Gassiev was a good cruiserweight, unified champion.” Wallin explained. “He has some good wins over Yuniel Dorticos and Denis Lebedev at cruiserweight, but at heavyweight we don’t really know much about him. He’s had about one fight a year, most are early knockouts. I think Usyk gave him a good lesson. When he gets in there with a good heavyweight, we will then see.”

Usyk defeated Gassiev in the final of the cruiserweight version of the World Boxing Super Series in 2018 to become undisputed in the weight class. The Ukrainian superstar’s weakness was arguably exposed against Dubois, the bout causing some controversy due to a low blow from the Englishman. 

“Dubois did a little bit better than I expected.” Wallin added. “He is quite a big heavyweight, that is probably why. Usyk looked like the same guy who struggled with [Dereck] Chisora in that fight. He was compiling a lot about the low blow, I didn’t actually think it was a low blow. It wasn’t that low, I thought it was borderline. Those shots happen all the time. If you watch Usyk, I’ve been watching him against Gassiev a lot for this fight, he complains about the same shot there. Usyk complains a lot about it. I see a lot of problems for Usyk with body shots.”