Deontay Wilder: Nobody wants to fight me
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) complains that the other top heavyweights do not want to fight him because they realize how serious he is about the sport. Deontay, 6’7”, remarks about how he is different from the other heavyweights in the ring due to his athletic skills that he has going for him.
Deontay is right. When you look at the other heavyweights like Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, they all look flat-footed for the most part. Wladimir used to be able to move pretty well in the prime of his career, but he has definitely slowed down now that he is nearing 40.
“I’m just a different fighter than these guys in the heavyweight division. My athletic skills, the way I move in the ring, my speed, the power that I have, the awkward style that I have,” Wilder said. “Do I need to say more? These guys know I am very serious about this. Nobody wants to fight [me], they already know what the results will be.’’
Deontay will show the boxing world some of his skills this month on January 16 in his title defense against Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder wants to show the world why he deserve to be considered the top #1 heavyweight in the division, and why he’s the one that best fits in as the replacement for Floyd Mayweather Jr.
When Wilder fights flat-footed fighters, he totally dominates them. We saw how Wilder got the better of Bermane Stivern in their fight in January 2015. Stiverne was a classic flat-footed fighter without the ability to move around the ring on his toes like Wilder. That made the fight incredibly easy for Deontay, because he was able to circle Stivern and jab him all night long.
Wilder wants to unify the heavyweight division, but he’s going to need help from IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and the winner of the Charles Martin vs. Vyacheslav Glazkov fight on 1/16. Wilder cannot pull these fighters kicking and screaming into the ring so that he can capture their titles. He needs them to be willing to fight him by volunteering to take the fight. That is the negative part about Wilder being a champion rather than just a contender.
“Keep fighting, sooner or later celebrate. Keep fighting, keep winning, keep knocking guys out,” Wilder said. “Once you keep doing those things, you can’t be denied, no matter what. I think unifying the titles … Once you have that strong American heavyweight to unify the division, to hold all the titles, that’s when I feel true stardom will come. Once I unify the division, I think it’ll be a dramatic change.’’
Deontay is right about stardom following him once he unifies all the heavyweight titles. We’re probably talking tons of endorsements and him being catapulted to a pay-per-view attraction along the lines of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Wilder wants to blast Szpilka into smithereens on January 16th, and then go after Fury’s scalp to take it and add it to his collection of pelts. From there, the only title not on Wilder’s grasp will be the IBF strap that will be decided on 1/16 in the Glazkov-Martin fight. That might be a little tougher for Wilder to get the winner of that fight to face him because I see them playing it safe by choosing to milk the title for as long as possible rather than risking their hide by facing a guy with the kind of KO power that Wilder has going for him.
Getting Fury and the Glazkov-Martin winner out of the way will be nice for Wilder, because he’s got bigger fish to fry. He wants to reign over the heavyweight division for a decade the same way that Wladimir Klitschko did. The only difference is that Deontay wants to take on the best every time instead of milking his titles by playing it safe against bottom feeders in the division. It’s going to be nice to see how Wilder’s heavyweight reign goes. I think there’s a good chance that he’ll he able to hold onto his title for a long time until he elects to retire after a long career.