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  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 happening.Ē

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 opposition.

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.


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