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I'm savouring my step into the unknown: Fury

Cool head: TysonFury with rival Otto Wallin, who
he says he won’t underestimate
Cool head: TysonFury with rival Otto Wallin, who he says he won’t underestimate

By Carl Markham

Tyson Fury admits he gets "turned on" by facing the unknown and that is why he will not under-estimate Otto Wallin in their heavyweight fight in Las Vegas early tomorrow.

The Swede has a 20-bout unbeaten record, which includes 13 knockouts, but none have been anywhere near this level and Fury's trainer Ben Davis said even he struggled to find footage of the unheard-of 28-year-old.

Fury has taken the fight as a stop-gap ahead of an expected rematch against Deontay Wilder in February and, while he knows little about his opponent, that merely adds to the excitement for the Mancunian.

"I don't know much about Otto at all and sometimes that's a good thing as when you know everything about an opponent it doesn't turn me on like it should do," said the 31-year-old self-styled 'Gypsy King'.

"But when you have the unknown, that is more exciting."

Comparisons have been drawn from Wallin's compatriot Ingemar Johansson who, 60 years ago, shocked the world by upsetting dominant world champion Floyd Patterson in New York.

However, Fury insists that will not happen tonight.

"I've not overlooked him, I've been in America for five weeks training," he added.

"No one is under any illusions. Ingemar Johansson came and knocked out Floyd Patterson. Is Otto Wallin going to knock out El Rey de los Gitanos (Fury has adopted the Spanish translation of the Gypsy King for his fight on Mexican Independence weekend)? Definitely not.

"The fact is I don't underestimate anyone. I give everyone the ultimate respect.

"Even if I am fighting a guy who has 20 fights and lost 20, I will train for him like he has had 20 knockouts in a row because I never fail to prepare.

"I've trained hard for this fight. As hard as I trained for Wilder, as hard as I trained for anyone.

"The tallness, a southpaw, and a defensive fighter is always a challenge, but I've never met a challenge I couldn't defeat. I've never met a mountain I couldn't climb, I've never met a man I couldn't beat, so he's going to be no exception."

Fury may well be the overwhelming favourite - he is 1/25 to win - against a comparative minnow, but the 31-year-old does not feel the expectation to put in a performance.

"I don't feel any pressure because they are only men with gloves on. I don't feel pressure from any fight," he said.

"It is going to be another Tyson Fury roadshow. It is going to be an entertaining fight, an exciting fight.

"I feel good, I feel fit, I've trained really hard. I'm in great shape and the weight is perfect. I feel sharp and rejuvenated and ready for a good fight."

Wallin knows no one gives him a chance but is determined to not only make a point but embarrass Fury.

"They (the crowd) can expect a good boxer. I am well-schooled, I had a good background and I think I have what it takes to cause an upset," he said.

"I haven't been on this big stage in fights before but I feel like I am on this level and I am ready to prove it."

• Aidan Walsh produced a fine performance to win his opening bout at the World Championships in Russia yesterday.

Walsh proved to be too slick for Israel's Ukrainian-born Miroslav Kapuler, winning a split decision, with four judges voting for the Monkstown ABC boxer while another giving the nod to his opponent - 30-26, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 28-29.

Walsh held his composure in the face of the constant marauding and aggression of the Israeli southpaw to pick off clean shots in all three rounds, using his sharp footwork to good effect.

He will now meet England's Pat McCormack. The Sunderland fighter is the No.2 seed in the welterweight division and received a bye into the last 32.

Tomorrow, European Games gold medallist Kurt Walker starts his campaign in the last-32 of the featherweight division when the Lisburn man clashes with David Avila of Colombia.

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