De La Hoya: Deontay Wilder needs improvement
By Allan Fox: Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya thinks unbeaten heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (26-0, 26 KO’s) has a couple of flaws in his game that he needs to fix before he can become a really superb heavyweight and move onto to capture a world title. De La Hoya told RingTV that Wilder needs to work on these flaws in his game if he wants to be able to get to the next level.
De La Hoya said to RingTV “Deontay Wilder has to work more on his jab, because he has a tremendous jab. He has to work more on his head movement. I don’t see many flaws in him other than the ones.”
De La Hoya didn’t look pleased with Wilder’s performance last Saturday night in watching De La Hoya’s body language while he was observing Wilder fighting an over-matched Kevlin Price at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.
It took the 27-year-old Wilder three rounds to figure out Price and knock him out, when it should have been a fight that Wilder ended in the 1st round had he been fighting with more skill, using his jab, left hook and moving his head like De La Hoya wanted him to. De La Hoya’s facial expression in watching Wilder wasn’t a happy one.
De La Hoya must have been thinking the same thing that a lot of boxing fans were in wondering why Wilder was only pawing with his jab, and rarely using it. Wilder was fighting like he only had a right hand, and his head movement consisted of this way of tilting it one way and then tilting it another way. He seemed like Wilder was imitating the way that IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO Wladimir Klitschko moves his head. It looked odd with Wilder doing it because it didn’t look natural and he wasn’t shooting hard jabs, left hooks and right hands the way that Wladimir does when he’s moving his head.
Wilder needs to use his jab much more, and he needs to learn how to throw straight right hands. Most of Wilder’s right hands were telegraphed looping shots that were easy to spot by his opponent. Wilder needs to be able to shoot straight right hands that go in a line because those kinds of punches get to their target much faster than the looping shots that Wilder tends to throw. He still throw the looping shots, but he needs to mix in straight punches, left hands and jabs because all he does is throw wide shots.
De La Hoya said he wants to have Wilder step up his competition in his next fight by putting him in with an opponent that actually fights back. Wilder says he wants to fight unbeaten prospect Bryant Jennings next if possible. However, it remains unclear whether Golden Boy will be willing to put Wilder in with a fighter as good as Jennings. That’s a huge step up in class for Wilder if he faces someone like Jennings, and he may not be ready for such a move up right now. With Wilder seemingly unable to use his jab and his left hand, he could struggle against a two-fisted puncher like Jennings.