Tyson Fury will take on Otto Wallin next month because he demanded a fight against a “big guy”.
Fury has come in for criticism over his choice of opponent having stopped Tom Schwarz in the second round in June.
Wallin is intended as a warm-up for the Brit’s rematch with Deontay Wilder which is pencilled in for February 22.
And Fury’s promoter Bob Arum explained why Wallin was chosen.
“The one requirement we had [When choosing Fury’s opponent] was that we needed to find a big guy because he will be facing a big guy when he fights Wilder for the title,” he told The Sportsman .
“Wallin was the best available fighter. He’s a decent fighter, he’s undefeated, he’s got a good punch and he’ll give Fury a tussle.”
Among Fury’s critics have been Anthony Joshua, who lost his world titles to Andy Ruiz Jr in a huge upset, and his promoter Eddie Hearn.
The latter said: “Arum is more jealous because he used to have Andy Ruiz. Now he’s sick to his pants that he doesn’t have the world heavyweight champion.
“Now he’s making Tyson Fury versus Otto Wallin which I wouldn’t make my worst enemy watch.
“Bob is very good at clouding the picture without noticing that he’s producing so much dross.
“He’s got Fury fighting Wallin on Mexican Independence Day. It’s a complete flop, it’s a disaster.”
Wallin, meanwhile, shrugged off the criticism.
“I don’t care too much,” he told BBC Sport. “He probably means I haven’t been at that elite level.
“I haven’t been at the elite level in fights but I have sparred big names and know I am at their level – Anthony Joshua, Kubrat Pulev, Adam Kownacki, Jarrell Miller, all different guys, and I know I am on this level.”