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Deontay Wilder’s right hand at 95% for Johann Duhaupas fight

Image: Deontay Wilder’s right hand at 95% for Johann Duhaupas fightBy Scott Gilfoid: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) says his recently broken right hand has improved from 75% that it was for his fight against Eric Molina last June to 95% right now for his fight later this month against the talented Johann Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KOs) on September 26th on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at the Legacy Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Wilder, 6’7”, suffered a broken right hand in his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision win over Bermane Stiverne last January in a fight in which Wilder had Stiverne hurt several times.

Wilder broke his right hand early in the fight, and was forced to fight Stiverne with the injured hand the rest of the way. This is perhaps the reason why Stiverne was able to survive the full 12 rounds against Wilder to be the first fighter in his career to go the full distance.

“I would rate my hand maybe 75 percent in my last fight, but right now it’s definitely around 95 percent,” Wilder said to tuscaloosanews.com . “I’m more flexible in training. Throwing my punches, I definitely feel a difference. When you break a hand, it’s something that takes a slow process.”

It’s not surprising that Wilder’s hand was only partially healed for his last fight against Eric Molina, because Wilder wasn’t using his right hand very much in that fight, and when he did use it, he wasn’t throwing with the same kind of devastating punching power that we’d seen the KO artist in the past. Wilder says his hand was at 75% for the Molina fight, but I think he was being too generous.

I believe that his hand was only at 50% for that fight, because he hit Molina plenty times with his right hand without dropping him to the canvas. I mean, Wilder knocked the 6’4” Molina down four times in the fight before stopping him in the 9th, but he took major heat from boxing fans for not knocking Molina out in the 1st round like Chris Arreola had in their fight in 2012.

With Wilder’s hand being 95% for this fight, it’s going to be difficult for Duhaupas to be able to handle the huge power from his shots. I think Duhaupas is an incredible talent, but there’s only so much a man can take when getting nailed by monstrous head shots the way that Duhaupas will be getting hit in this fight. I don’t think he’s going to be able to take one or two of Wilder’s big right hands if he lands it clean.

One of the 10 sparring partners Wilder is using to get ready for the Duhaupas fight is Malik Scott, a fighter that Wilder previously destroyed in one round last year in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator.

“Malik has a similar movement that my opponent does,” Wilder told al.com. “When we had Malik in the first camp (at a prior fight), he did a very good job of emulating my opponent. I know the things I’m going to see from Malik, I’ll see in the fight.”

There’s a slight difference in height between the 6’3” Scott and 6’5” Duhaupas, but other than the height and reach difference, I see them a being similar heavyweights. Scott is very talented, and I can see him having Wilder well prepared for his contest against Duhaupas.

The Duhaupas fight is a very important one for Wilder, 29, because he needs to get some rounds in so that he can prepare for his title defense against his WBC mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin next year in the first quarter of 2016. Povetkin has been knocking everyone out left and right since his 12 round decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. But obviously the fighters that Povetkin has been knocking out aren’t the same as Wilder.

It’s going to be a much different story when Povetkin gets inside the ring with Wilder because he’s going to have to deal with his big right hand and his huge height and reach advantage. Wladimir was able to knock Povetkin down three times in their fight two years ago, and Wladimir was fighting in a really timid way. If Wladimir was able to put Povetkin on the canvas three times, then a huge puncher like Wilder should be able to do even twice as good a job because he’s got better punching power.

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