The coronavirus has affected a number of athletes from the NHL, NFL and NBA. Now, it appears the boxing world may be impacted.
Former heavyweight title contender Otto Wallin, who lives in New York City, has been self-isolating for over a week following a visit from his mother. When she returned home she started feeling symptoms associated with COVID-19, and Wallin told TMZ Sports that he eventually has not been able to taste or smell anything.
“So, I felt like I had a fever but I didn’t. And, then like I was starting to get better, and then all of a sudden I lost my smell and taste,” Wallin stated.”I felt a little off but that was about it. I probably would have gone about my normal life if I didn’t know that this was going on. So I’ve been quarantining since Saturday (March 15) so that’s been over a week now.”
Wallin (20-1, 1NC) last fought in September, almost beating lineal heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury. The 29-year-old cut Fury above his eye, which was really deep that the fight almost got called. Wallin ended up losing via unanimous decision while Fury needed 47 stitches. He was supposed to face Lucas Browne next, but had to back out following a stress fracture in his left foot.
When asked if he went to go get tested, Wallin said he didn’t want to be one of many that are flooding hospitals in New York and all over the world. He believes while his case is concerning, it is not as big as those who are suffering more than he is.
“It’s better to save the tests for those who really need it,” Walling stated after talking to a medical professional. “It take some pressure off the hospitals.”
He started to feel bad for his mother, who felt flu-like symptoms but did not show anything else that would be a cause for concern. Wallin told Boxing Scene that his mother’s boyfriend, who has diabetes, tested positive, along with having a blood clot.
Wallin went on to point out the importance of social distancing, washing your hands and listening to health officials.
“I feel fine. That’s kind of the scary part,” Wallin went on to say. “I haven’t been feeling bad, but I most likely have it. That’s why everybody needs to follow the guidelines and stay inside as much as possible and keep practicing social distancing. It can be really serious to some people.”