Swedish heavyweight hope Otto Wallin (17-0, 11 KOs) headlines his hometown arena with a WBA Continental Heavyweight title fight against Italian Champion Gianluca Mandras (12-4, 5 KOs) on April 22 at the Sporthallen in Sundsvall.
Wallin left Sundvsall in 2013 to pursue his dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world, moving to Germany after signing professional terms with Europe’s leading boxing promoter Team Sauerland, before relocating to Copenhagen to join forces with renowned American coach Joey Gamache.
Wallin aims to make a triumphant homecoming this weekend, five years since he last fought in Sundsvall, and the 26 year-old is eager to show how much he has improved by capturing his first title in front of his home fans.
‘’I can’t wait to finally fight at home,’’ says Wallin. ‘’I get goose bumps just thinking about it. It’s going to be amazing. I’ve sold a lot of tickets. All my family and friends are coming; they say they can’t wait for the show and neither can I!
‘’I last fought in Sundsvall in 2012. It was with the national team against France. It was my last amateur fight. After that I turned pro moved to Germany. Then I started training with Joey in Copenhagen. A lot has happened in those five years.
‘’I left a boy and I’m coming back a man. It’s like night and day. I’m so much better now, and I’m looking forward to showing everybody how much I’ve improved.
‘’It feels great to be able to give something back to my city. When I was an amateur, I always enjoyed fighting at home, and had some of best fights in Sundsvall, so I’m confident that the home crowd will give me a boost.
‘’Of course, I’m going to be nervous, but that’s just a part of the game and I know how to handle it. I know I can’t be reckless just because I’m home, I will need to be careful and do my job as always. I think it will drive me on. I like the feeling of fighting at home and having the crowd behind me.
‘’This is a very important fight for me. It’s my first title fight and if I win, it’s going to put me in the World rankings. That’s a big step in the right direction for me, and winning is the only thing I have on my mind.’’
Otto Wallin headlines his hometown arena with a WBA Continental title fight against Gianluca Mandras on April 22 at the Sportahllen in Sundsvall, while Swedish stars Mikaela Laurén, Oscar Ahlin, Hampus Henriksson, Kennedy Katende, Rocco Wadell and Patricia Berghult return to action as part of a stacked undercard, which also features Icelandic heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson.