Otto Wallin believes he is at elite heavyweight level and insists he is not bothered by criticism of his ability as he prepares to fight .

The Swede, 28, faces Britain’s Fury in Las Vegas on 14 September.

– who has sparred Wallin extensively – recently said he would face criticism if he were to choose to fight “lower-tier heavyweights”.

“I don’t care too much,” Wallin told BBC Sport. “He probably means I haven’t been at that elite level.”

He added: “I haven’t been at the elite level in fights but I have sparred big names and know I am at their level – , Kubrat Pulev, Adam Kownacki, Jarrell Miller, all different guys, and I know I am on this level.

“I am not worried about that, it’s just that people haven’t seen. Anthony knows I am a good fighter. Yes, it helps a little with motivation. I have no pressure at all – I can only go in there and do my best.”

In addition to sparring Joshua, Wallin faced the former unified heavyweight champion of the world as an amateur, losing via decision twice.

Fury, 31, will start as around 1-25 favourite for their bout despite Wallin being unbeaten in 20 professional contests.

It will be Wallin’s first visit to Las Vegas, where Fury pummelled ’s Tom Schwarz to a second-round stoppage in June to extend his record to 28 wins and one draw.

Wallin is diligently preparing for the contest in a private gym but he has been marked as low-risk stepping stone for Fury given the Briton has a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion in place for 2020.

“This is the moment I have been dreaming of since I started when I was 15,” Wallin added. “I have been preparing for this. Now it’s just I am fighting the best I have ever faced.

“I am fighting probably the best heavyweight out there, at least the best boxer. He is a big guy, uses his size well. He is very skilled and can do a lot of things in there. He is tricky and has beaten good fighters but there are some things that people haven’t done to him.

“I am really confident in myself and my work ethic. I have worked for a long time and dreamed of this moment. Now it is finally here and I have to try and grab it with both hands.”


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