Heavyweights Wallin & Flores Both Expecting Victory When
They Clash On ShoBox This Friday
Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin says he has too many
physical advantages, while former world title challenger BJ
Flores says he has too much experience to lose their
upcoming 10-round clash.
WBA No. 5-ranked Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs) and Flores (34-4-1,
21 KOs) will meet this Friday, July 12, in the co-featured
bout of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader telecast
(live on SHOWTIME 10 p.m. ET/PT) from the Emerald Queen
Casino in Tacoma, Wash.
Presented by Salita Promotions and Brian Halquist
Productions, ďBattle at the Boat 122Ē will also feature top
American heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin (18-0, 13
KOs), from Saginaw, Mich., returning for his second
consecutive ShoBox test against the streaking Jerry Forrest
(25-2, 19 KOs), of Newport News, Va., in the 10-round
headliner and in the opening televised bout, undefeated
featherweight Giovanni Mioletti (16-0, 7 KOs) of Chicago
will face Ecuadorís Luis Porozo (14-0, 7 KOs).
The 28-year-old Wallin, a southpaw from Sundsvall, Sweden,
says heís been expanding his horizons working with trainer
Joey Gamache at Mendez Boxing in Manhattan.
ďTraining has been very good. I have been back in New York
for six weeks now and Iíve had some great sparring with a
lot of different guys and different styles,Ē said
28-year-old Wallin. ďSparring is the best training you can
get. Itís the most like a fight, so just getting in with all
these different guys is a great experience.Ē
Undefeated Wallin says heís got too much of everything for
former cruiserweight Flores in this fight.
ďBJ Flores is a guy thatís experienced, but I know what to
do,Ē Wallin said. ďI have the tools to beat him. Heís good
as a cruiserweight, but this is a heavyweight fight. Itís
different than being a good cruiser. I will win because Iím
a better boxer with better skills. Iím too big, young and
strong for him. I always get nervous before a fight, but
thatís part of it. Being nervous makes me sharper. I will
eventually break him down.Ē
Itís been something of a whirlwind career for Wallin, who
turned pro as the number one heavyweight on the Swedish
National team after just 50 amateur fights. Heavily courted
by promoters for his immense natural talent, Wallin now
finds himself signed with Salita Promotions and in the top 5
of the WBA ratings after 20 pro fights.
He credits trainer Gamache, himself a popular former
fighter, with much of his success.
ďJoey used to live in Denmark and so did I,Ē Wallin said.
ďThatís where we met six years ago. I followed him back to
the US when he came back and I signed with Salita at the
beginning of this year. We have a great relationship. I love
him as a coach and as a person Heís done a lot for me
including bringing me over here and making all these
connections. I trust him 100% and he trusts me too.Ē
Wallin says having a great team behind him means ramping up
his quest for a world championship.
ďI want to have three or four fights this year. I havenít
had that many fights the last couple years, so itís
important to me to stay busy. Next year, Iíll be looking for
a bigger fight. Iím very excited about everything that is
The 40-year-old Flores, originally from Arizona, says
preparations went surprisingly well for this fight.
ďTraining couldnít have gone better,Ē Flores said. ďI had
eight good weeks of training and I have zero injuries. To be
honest, I thought camp would be tougher, but everything
bounced back nicely. Iíve been sparring for seven weeks. I
normally have something nagging on fight week, but I sparred
10 rounds Saturday. I sparred four rounds today. I have 22
rounds in since last Wednesday and I feel great.Ē
Flores, a two-time world cruiserweight title challenger,
says Wallin will be facing a totally different type of
opponent than the ones heís used to.
ďHeís never been tested by a guy who thought he could win.
Everybody heís fought came in as an opponent. Thatís not to
say heís not good, but Iím the first fighter on his resume
coming in expecting to win and Iíve been in with far better
ďI feel like once I get him in the middle rounds and show
him heís in with somebody who is not going anywhere, thatís
when we will find out what heís made of. My experience and
game plan are perfect for testing an untested guy. Just
because heís untested doesnít mean he canít fight, but weíre
going to find out Friday night.Ē
Contrary to most fightersí preference, Flores says heís
happy Wallin is a left-handed fighter.
ďIíve been sparring nothing but tall southpaws. In fact, I
havenít sparred an orthodox fighter in nine weeks. I prefer
to fight southpaws. Itís better for my punch selection to
fight a southpaw. Iíve never had a problem with it and Iíve
never lost to one.Ē
Now a 16-year pro, Flores says he wonít be worried if the
younger fighter comes out with some early aggression.
ďIf he wants to start fast, thatís OK. I donít care about
the first two or three rounds. The real fight starts after
the fourth round. I plan on winning the early rounds, but
even if I donít, it doesnít matter until we get in the
middle rounds. Iím going to attack and be aggressive and go
up and down on him. Get him to the middle rounds and see
where heís at. I know where Iím at. Iíve been in with the
best heavyweights and cruiserweights in the world over the
last 15 years. I feel great and Iím ready.Ē
Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with
boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion
Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive
producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and
Rick Phillips directing.