(Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions) By Tim Fletcher: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) gave #11 WBC Johann Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KOs) a terrible beating in stopping him in the 11th round on Saturday night in a fight that was televised by Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder hurt the 32-year-old Duhaupas with some uppercuts in the 11th round. Wilder the unloaded a storm of unanswered uppercuts to the head of Duhaupas until the referee Jack Reiss stepped in and halted the fight at 0:55 of the round. Duhaupas was still on his feet but he was cowering and just taking awful punishment. It’s possible that Duhaupas might have survived the onslaught, but he wasn’t going to win. Duhaupas was able to survive a similar flurry of punches from Wilder in the 10th and 5th rounds.
Wilder, 29, suffered a badly swollen left eye in the fight that he had to deal with from the 3rd round on. For his part, Duhaupas suffered a bad cut on the bridge of his nose and left eye as well as swelling around his left eye from the huge right hands he was getting nailed with by Wilder.
In a controversial decision, American heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a 10 round unanimous decision over 36-year-old Fred Kassi (18-4-1, 10 KOs) in the co-feature bout on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder vs. Johann Duhaupas fight. The Alabama crowd booed the decision loudly afterwards, letting the three judges know what they thought of their very odd scoring of the fight.
The final judges’ scores were 97-93, 98-92 and 100-90. The wide scores by the judges made zero sense given how close the fight was. The judge that scored it 100-90, John Westeterp, didn’t give Kassi one round.
The fight appeared to be draw though. Kassi appeared to do more than enough to deserve a draw of the fight.
Kassi looked to have won rounds 2, 5-7 & 9. Kassi was landing the cleaner and harder shots in most of the rounds. The 6’7″ Breazeale came on late in the fight with his body punching and appeared to win rounds 8 and 10.
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) will be facing a large heavyweight tonight in facing France’s Johann Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KOs) tonight in a primetime battle on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at the Legacy Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama. Wilder needs to fight better tonight than he did in his last fight against Eric Molina three months ago in June.
If Wilder doesn’t fight better against Duhaupas than he did in his last fight, he might wind up losing to the French fighter.
Wilder wants to get fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury. Those fights can only happen if Wilder can get past Duhaupas and keep winning. It would be in Wilder’s best interest to try and take Duhaupas out as fast as possible tonight. The last thing that he needs to do is let Duhaupas get his confidence up in this fight like he did in his last bout against Manuel Charr.
This is a fight that will show how well Wilder handles a guy almost his size in Duhaupas. Wilder dispatched the 6’4” Eric Molina in his last fight, but he seemed bothered by his size and power. Wilder knocked out some big heavyweights in the past like the 6’6” Audley Harrison and the 6’7” Kelvin Price, but those fighters didn’t belong in the same ring with Wilder. If they had thrown some punches, they might have given Wilder some problems.
Duhaupas needs to wait a while for Wilder to tire a little before he goes after him. The problem is that if Duhaupas waits too long, he could wind up getting knocked out from one of Wilder’s hard right hand shots.
Look into my eyes…. pic.twitter.com/6fyOhDQ4iE
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) September 26, 2015
“The only thing that people have to do is one of the most difficult things in the world: have patience,” Wilder said via yahoo sports. “I can’t fight all the top guys in the heavyweight division one right after the other because the division is too small. I’ll run out of fighters and people will still complain because once I’m at the top all that will be left are mediocre guys. It’s a lose-lose situation.”
Wilder is right about him not being able to fight all the top fighters one after another. There are only a small handful of fighters that boxing fans actually care about. Fury and Klitschko are at the top, as is Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin. Once Wilder gets through those fighters, he’ll be stuck fighting the lesser fighters in the division. But it’s going to be a tough ask for Wilder to beat the likes of Klitschko, Joshua, Povetkin, and Fury.
If Wilder can slice through those fighters without losing, he’ll have achieved beyond the expectations of many of fans. The perception that a lot of fans have about Wilder is that he’s a paper champion with a weak chin. Wilder has only had one test in the 36-year-old Bermane Stiverne. That wasn’t a major test like the ones Wilder will have to deal with once he gets to the likes of Fury, Klitschko, Povetkin and Joshua.
“I am the next great fighter in this sport that will fill the shoes of Floyd Mayweather now that he’s retired,” Wilder said. “I’m going to fill them fully and so tight that I might get corns on my feet because the shoe is going to bust.”
For Wilder to be taken seriously as the guy that will step into Mayweather’s shoes, he’s got to be able to beat fighters like Duhaupas and look good doing so. Wilder can’t afford another weak performance like his last fight against Molina. Wilder looked like a shaky amateur fighter in that bout, and he’s quite fortunate that Molina was fighting so timidly. If Molina had come out on fire in any of those rounds, he might have actually gotten Wilder out of there.
Wilder looked vulnerable each time he was hit with a solid shot from Molina. The thing is Molina didn’t even throw very many punches in the fight. It was a case of Wilder not showing great punch resistance.
Wilder will need to show a lot tonight for him to be taken seriously as a fighter that is going to take the baton from Mayweather and become the next big thing in boxing. Right now it doesn’t look like Wilder will be able to keep his WBC title beyond his next fight against Alexander Povetkin or the winner of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury fight.