Otto Wallin's Explosive Take on Usyk's Title Reign Should He Be World Champion?
Heavyweight contender Otto Wallin has stirred controversy by questioning Oleksandr Usyk’s legitimacy as the unified world heavyweight champion, citing a contentious moment in Usyk’s last fight against Daniel Dubois. Wallin, with a record of 26-1, believes Usyk’s possession of the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO titles is unjust, pointing to a disputed knockdown in the Usyk-Dubois bout where a body shot landed on Usyk’s beltline, sparking a heated debate over the referee’s call and Usyk’s extended recovery time.
During the Usyk-Dubois fight in August, a body shot from Dubois resulted in Usyk being ruled down by the referee, prompting an uproar. Referee Luis Pabon deemed the shot a foul, granting Usyk more than the usual recovery time. Wallin, echoing sentiments from Dubois and promoter Frank Warren, sees this extended recovery as an unfair advantage, questioning the legitimacy of Usyk’s reign as champion.
Expressing his viewpoint on Usyk’s vulnerability, Wallin highlighted the Ukrainian’s susceptibility to body shots, citing Usyk’s past encounters, particularly the undisputed cruiserweight bout against Murat Gassiev. Wallin extensively studied this fight before securing a victory over Gassiev in September, identifying body shots as Usyk’s Achilles’ heel.
Wallin is slated to face Anthony Joshua in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 23, aiming to further his undefeated streak following his defeat to Tyson Fury in 2019. Meanwhile, Usyk is set to clash with Fury on February 17, also in Riyadh, in what promises to be a showdown for the undisputed heavyweight world championship.
As Wallin raises doubts about Usyk’s championship status, the heavyweight division braces for intense matchups that could potentially redefine the title landscape. With controversies swirling around Usyk’s reign, the upcoming fights of both Wallin and Usyk have intensified the spotlight on the credibility of the current unified heavyweight champion.