Heavyweight Tyson Fury says he brought his fight date forward as a gift to the Mexican people.
Fury 28-0-1 (20) will face little-known Otto Wallin 20-0 (13) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night.
Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez was widely expected to fight on the date with WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev the preferred opponent, but the Russian veteran opted to proceed with his mandatory title defence against Anthony Yarde instead.
“What people don’t know is I wasn’t supposed to box on this weekend. I was supposed to box in New York in early to mid-October,” Fury, 31, said at the final press conference ahead of the fight.
“When we heard Canelo Alvarez wasn’t going to be fighting on Mexican Independence Weekend, I thought ‘damn, what a shock’, because this has been a special weekend for many, many events in Las Vegas every year for boxing.
“So I thought the Mexican people weren’t going to have a main attraction or main event, I need to step in.
“I brought my fight date ahead four weeks, just so you could see ‘el Rey Gitano’ and so the Mexican people can have a main event, a massive superstar fighter boxing on this weekend.”
The Fury fight will be huge step up in class for Wallin, whose biggest scalp to date is Adrian Granat who he defeated on points over 12 rounds in April last year.
But the Swedish southpaw is confident he has the tools to spring the upset.
“I’m well-schooled. I’ve got a good background. I’ve got good offense, good defence and I think I have what it takes to cause an upset,” Wallin said.
Fury is having his second fight back since his disputed draw to WBC champion Deontay Wilder last December.
In June he stopped unknown Tom Schwarz in two rounds in his Las Vegas debut.