Deontay Wilder: I’m focused and ready!
By Scott Gilfoid: There is now less than two weeks to go before WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Polish knockout artist Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) on January 16th at the Barclays Center in beautiful Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder says he’s totally ready and dialed in for his fight against Szpilka for this important fight on Showtime. Wilder, 6’7”, has fined tuned his skills to be ready for a shorter fighter in the 6’3” Szpilka, as he’ been fighting taller guys in the 6’5” range in his last couple of fights, but for this title defense, Wilder needed a shorter guy to get him ready for his arguably tougher fight against the 6’2” Alexander Povetkin in the first quarter of this year.
Wilder wanted Vyacheslav Glazkov, 6’3”, but he took the easy way out by going after the IBF strap.
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) January 3, 2016
Szpilka is one of the best heavyweights in the division. The 26-year-old recently defeated Tomasz Adamek in 2014 by a 10 round decision. That victory came directly after Szpilka’s 10th round knockout loss to the talented Bryant Jennings. The loss to Jennings was a case of Szpilka taking a dangerous fight a little too soon.
Szpilka was only 24 at the time that he took that fight, and that was obviously too young to be facing such an advanced fighter like Jennings. If the same fight took place right now, I think Szpilka would give Jennings a real run for his money, especially given the fact that Jennings lost his last fight to interim WBA heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz last month by a 7th round knockout.
Szpilka has the kind of punching power that Ortiz has going for him, but he’s got chin issues and defensive problems. If Szpilka doesn’t fix those defensive issues by the time he gets inside the ring with Wilder on January 16t, then this is going to be a really easy fight for Deontay.
This is a fight that Deontay is not going to be taking any chances with, because a loss in this fight will ruin his dreams of getting a unification fight against the winner of the Klitschko-Fury 2 rematch. Deontay will make a huge amount of cash against the winner of that fight, and he’s not going to give up that money by losing to a guy like Szpilka, no way. He’s going to make sure that he gets Szpilka out of there quickly within the first two rounds so that there’s no chance of him landing a lucky head shot to score a knockout.
Wilder, 30, is perhaps the best puncher in the heavyweight division right now by far. If you’re looking at single punch power, Wilder appears to be heads and shoulders above all the rest of the heavyweights. There are some good punchers like Luis Ortiz, Lucas Browne, and Wladimir Klitschko, but those are guys that need to hit you a lot of times in order to produce their knockouts.
Wilder is more like a one-punch guy like Tommy Hearns was when he was fighting at welterweight many years ago. Wilder has the kind of power that finishes his opponents off quickly and neatly without a mess the way other heavyweights leave. That could be one of the reasons why Wilder hasn’t been able to get other heavyweights like Klitschko and Tyson Fury in the ring. He just hits so hard that his opponents are forced to fight a perfect fight, and take huge shots to the head in order to survive the full 12 round distance, and I think that scares them off.
The Wilder vs. Szpilka fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing, and there should be a lot of people watching the fight in the United States. Wilder needs a nice knockout win to continue building his fan base so that he can eventually become a pay-per-view attraction like Floyd Mayweather Jr. was. Wilder believes that he’s the perfect replacement for Mayweather in terms of star appeal in the United States. Guys like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are not Americans. Wilder is home grown in the U.S, and a former U.S Olympian from 2008. Wilder won a bronze medal in that Olympics.