Otto Wallin (14-0, 10 KOs) will be following in the footsteps of legendary Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson when he faces Irineu Beato Costa Junior (19-6, 17 KOs) on April 23 at the Hovet in Stockholm.
The Hovet has played host to some classic heavyweight contests in the past including Johansson’s European title bout with Henry Cooper in 1957 and the former World Champion’s farewell fight against Brian London in 1963.
Heavyweight boxing returns to the historic arena when Wallin, the undefeated fighter from Sundsvall, takes on Costa Junior at the Nordic Fight Night.
‘’It was amazing to finally fight at home in Sweden last year,’’ said Wallin. ‘’To fight in Stockholm at the Hovet is even better. It has a great history for heavyweight boxing and I’m excited that I can now be a part of this.
‘’My dream has always been to become the first Swedish heavyweight champion since Ingemar Johansson. I know I still have a long way to go, but I feel that I’m improving with every fight and when my chance comes I will take it!’’
Standing in Wallin’s way is the big punching Brazilian Costa Junior who has recorded seventeen knockouts in his twenty-five-fight career.
‘’He is an experienced guy who has shared the ring with a lot of good opponents,’’ says Wallin. ‘’And he can punch so he will always be dangerous, but I’m confident in my own ability and I’m sure that together with my coach Joey Gamache we will come up with the perfect game plan to beat him.’’
The 25 year-old southpaw has spent the last six weeks in England where he has been sparring Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua ahead of the British-boxer’s IBF World title challenge.
‘’It’s been a great experience,’’ says Wallin who returns to his Copenhagen training base next week. ‘’I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s the best sparring I could ask for and it’s been fun to test myself against one of the best fighters in the division. It’s exactly what I need to continue to improve and develop as a boxer.’’
Wallin’s fight with Costa Junior is part of a blockbuster bill in the Swedish capital. In a co-featured main event, IBF Intercontinental Champion Erik Skoglund faces the tough South African Ryno Liebenberg and WBC Female World Super Welterweight Champion Mikaela Lauren defends her title against former World Champion Ivana Habazin.
On the undercard, London 2012 Olympian Anthony Yigit takes on British-boxer Chris Goodwin, Klara Svensson rematches Lucia Morelli and the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar Ahlin faces Patrick Mendy.
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March 31, 2016[i]