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Szpilka: Deontay Wilder will be facing someone faster than him

Deontay WilderBy Scott Gilfoid: If you’ve had the opportunity to see some of #8 WBC Artur Szpilka’s past fights, you’ll note that he’s not one of the fastest heavyweights in the division. He’s got decent hand speed for a plodder, but he is definitely not fast of hand or foot. This is why it was interesting to see some of the 26-year-old Szpilka’s comments about him being faster than WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs), who he’ll be facing in less than two weeks on January 16th on Showtime Championship Boxing at the beautiful Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“I will leave everything I’ve learned in the ring. For the first time, he’ll face someone who isn’t afraid of him, is faster and throws combinations. I know what I can do. I wish him great health and a win for myself,” Szpilka said to Fightnews.com.

When you face a puncher like Deontay, it doesn’t matter if you’re not afraid of him or not. You can be the bravest person in the world and be mindlessly and foolishly cocky about your chances, but you’re still going to get knocked out if Deontay nails you with a big enough shot. Being unafraid doesn’t help you, which is why it’s kind of funny that Szpilka is whistling past the graveyard like this in saying he’s not afraid.

You’ve got be afraid to be in the ring with a KO artist like Deontay, you just got to. If you’re not, then that tells me there’s some kind of problem with your ability to judge potentially dangerous fighters.

Szpilka does throw combinations in his fights, but he sure as heck isn’t fast of hand, and he definitely doesn’t have faster hand speed than Deontay. If someone told Szpilka that he has faster hands than Deontay, then he needs to distance himself from that person because they might be blowing smoke up his backside by saying stuff that they think he wants to hear. Instead of Szpilka’s ego being pumped up, he needs to be told the honest truth about his skills and his chances of winning the fight against Deontay.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Szpilka’s chances are not good in this fight. He’s not fast of hand and he’s not exactly the tallest heavyweight you’ll ever see. As such, instead of Szpilka flapping his gums about being fast, he needs to be talking about trying to time Deontay to land his shots in between his own.

Slower guys have to use timing against fighters with better hand speed than them if they want to land something, and that’s what Szpilka is going to need to do if he wants to land any of his shots in this fight because you’ve got to figure that Wilder’s puinches will always get there first if the two of them throw at the same time. The best thing that Szpilka can do is watch for tendencies that Wilder shows before he’s about to throw a shot, and then look to throw his own punch just as Wilder is winding up to throw something.

This fight is going to go badly for Szpilka if he marches into the ring thinking he’s got better hand speed than Wilder and can throw combinations against him. Let me be clear about this; Szpilka is not going to be able to use his combination punching against a tall, mobile heavyweight like Deontay, because he’s not going to be stationary for him to get his shots off. At best, Szpilka will be able to land one shot at a time all night long, but never ever more than that. What Szpilka needs to do is to make sure that his single shots count each time he throws a punch. He’s got to throw with maximum power and he’s got to time Deontay. It’s easier than done though, because once Wilder realizes that Szpilka is timing him, he’ll focus on using his jab more often and won’t give him anything to work off. If Szpilka bum rushes Deontay, I see him getting nailed by a big right hand and stopped in his tracks. If Wilder throws a flurry of shots at any time in the fight, I doubt that Szpilka will be able to survive without getting knocked out.


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