By: Sean Crose
The 21-1 heavyweight Otto Wallin stepped into the ring at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night to face the 20-2 Dominic Breazeale in a scheduled 12 rounder. Breazeale, whose previous bout was a crushing knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in 2019, had nonetheless proven himself to be a knockout machine against the right opponent. Wallin's only loss had been to Tyson Fury in a 2019 battle which saw Fury on some shaky ground thanks to Wallin’s performance. This had the makings of an interesting battle between two known former title challengers looking to earn a chance to fight for a title again.
The southpaw Wallin was able to land well in the first while Breazeale essentially stalked his man. Wallin was able to stick and move effectively in the second. By the third it looked like Wallin was able to strike his man at will. Breazeale simply seemed unable to pull the trigger. Breazeale had upped his pace by the fourth, but Wallin was proving to be too fast for him.
By the fifth round it was clear that the fight had slipped into a pattern. Breazeale pursued while Wallin slipped away and landed cleanly. Breazeale was able to land in the sixth and appeared to be more in the fight. Still, it was Wallin who came back and easily controlled the seventh. The ring doctor took a look at Breazeale's swollen eye before letting Breazeale continue to engage in the eighth round.
Wallin appeared to be a bit worn out in the ninth. He appeared tired in the tenth, as well, as Breazeale continued to be able to find his mark. Exhausted, both men fell to the mat in the eleventh, as Breazeale had in the tenth. Yet Wallin was able to pick away at his man with success throughout the round. The twelfth and final round saw Wallin simply being too slick for his opponent to impact with any regularity, though Breazeale did show some effective aggression. The judges ultimately ruled in Wallin's favor by scores of 116-112, 117-11, and 118-110.