Will Deontay Wilder be the next American heavyweight champion?
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) March 18, 2014
By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KO’s) could well be on his way to becoming the next American heavyweight world champion by later on this year if Chris Arreola doesn’t win the WBC title first by beating Bermane Stiverne on May 10th in their fight for the vacant WBC title. Deontay, 6’7”, has the power, size and boxing skills to not only win the WBC title by beating the Stiverne-Arreola winner, but also holding onto the strap for a long period of time.
The only guy that could potentially give Deontay problems is IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
The last U.S. heavyweight world champion was Shannon Briggs, who held the WBO title from 2006 to 2007 until losing it to Sultan Ibragimov. Ever since then, American heavyweights have been on the outside looking in as the Klitschko brothers and a couple of other non-U.S heavyweight have held down the titles.
It’s pretty shocking that it’s taken this long for a high quality American like Deontay to emerge, because it’s highly irregular for a country that has dominated the heavyweight division the way America has to be without a heavyweight world champion.
The late great trainer Emanuel Steward predicted in the past that Deontay Wilder would become a world champion by 2013. Unfortunately, due to the freeze that Vitali Klitschko put on the WBC belt by not defending it all in the 2013, it slowed down Deontay’s progress towards a world title. With Vitali now retired, Deontay is poised to fight for the WBC strap in late 2014.
We’ll get to see whether Deontay has the talent to win a title or if he’s just another fighter who didn’t have what it takes to make it to the next level. With the way that Deontay has been mowing down the opposition, I’m pretty sure that he’ll become a world champion this year, and likely win the title in stunning fashion by knocking out his foe.