Wilder-Szpilka punch stats
(Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment) By Jim Dower: In a sign of how closely contested last Saturday’s title fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs) was as far as punches thrown in the fight, Deontay only had a small 12 punch advantage in punches landed in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brookyn, New York.
There was very little action in the fight due to the missed punches from both fighters and the movement. Deontay won the fight in the 9th round after dropping Szpilka with a blistering right to the head. Szpilka was unable to get up from the knockdown and the fight was stopped right away.
According to CompuBox, Deontay connected on 75 of 250 shots for a connect percentage of 30%. Szpilka landed 63 of 230 punched for a connect percentage of 27%. The main difference between the two heavyweights was Deontay landing with more force with the occasional right hands he landed in the contest.
“I did what I wanted to do,” Wilder said. “I gave the people a knockout. My right hand is back,” Wilder said via ESPN.com.
Deontay broke his right hand last year against Bermane Stiverne. It’s taken this long for his hand to be strong enough for him to land with full force, he says. However, as much as Wilder missed with his shots last night against Szpilka, it didn’t matter that his right hand was supposedly back to where it was before his injury. He still wasn’t using it very much and the woeful punch stats reflected that.
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) January 17, 2016
Deontay didn’t throw many punches in the fight, and the ones that he did throw missed 70% of the time. That’s not good, especially if Deontay wants to be able to get past his next opponent Alexander Povetkin. The Russian doesn’t have a habit of missing a lot with his shots, and he’s very good at countering his opponents when they miss. Wladimir Klitschko beat Povetkin in 2013, but he played it safe for the most part against Povetkin by jabbing and grabbing him the entire night, and throwing only rare right hands and left hooks in the fight.
“Since I fought Stiverne and broke my hand, it’s been sore,” Wilder said. “But now it’s back and 100 percent. I’m still a dangerous fighter. We don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen. When I crack you with a right hand, things are going to happen. I knew I was winning [against Szpilka]. I definitely thought it was close. There wasn’t that much action going on. I knew it was pretty close, but that didn’t bother me. If it had went the distance, I would have had no worries. But again, I’m a dangerous fighter. What had made me gain my name is knocking people out. That’s what I do. Any fighter that doesn’t think I’m dangerous is kidding themselves. That’s one of the attributes about myself,” Deontay said.
Wilder was ahead at the time of the stoppage in the 9th by the scores 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75. The 77-75 score would seem like the most accurate of the three. Wilder may not have expected the fight to be a close one, but it clearly was a very competitive fight. You could see how worried Wilder was in the corner between rounds. He wasn’t the same confident looking fighter that he was in his last two fights against Johann Duhaupas and Eric Molina. Wilder looked as lost and worried as Wladimir Klitschko in his recent fight against Tyson Fury.
At the end of the fight, Wilder didn’t seem too pleased with his own performance. Things quickly got worse for the 30-year-old Wilder when IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury came into the ring WWE style and immediately confronted a startled looking Wilder, and started giving him grief. Fury eventually went away after the two of them had trash talked each other, but Wilder looked like he had lost his composure and he didn’t come off well on television. This was supposed to be Wilder’s moment of glory, but he looked like someone with a sour disposition.