It’s been a long time, since an American Heavyweight has come along and given the people something to start talking about. In the past few years, all we have been hearing about were heavyweights like Seth Mitchel, the former Michigan State college football player, turned professional fighter after only 10 amateur fights. Like Mike Tyson at the age of 14 he was weighing over 200lbs at a height of 5’10″ and when he walked to the ring, he even somewhat looked like him with his shaved head, black shorts, and black leather shoes, but that’s where the similarities stopped. His late start in the sport and lack of experience in the amateur game was quite evident, when he was knocked out by the veteran, Johnathon Banks in just two rounds. Mitchell would revenge that loss, but would then get knocked out by Mexican American, Chris Arreola.
People desperate for the next American Heavyweight, similarly started talking about Chris Arreola, the blown up Mexican Heavyweight that most recently got crushed in his title eliminator match by Haitian Canadian Bermaine Stiverne. Now, after Arreola’s destruction of Seth Mitchell in one round, he has been given a second shot at beating Stiverne, but this time, not as a title eliminator, but for the WBC Heavyweight Title on May 10th. Personally, I don’t see a different outcome, and believe that Bermaine Stiverne will become the next WBC Heavyweight Champion.
I even heard people talking about Malik Scott as the future of boxing in the Heavyweight Division, but recently he was knocked out in the first round by the man that I believe brings the most excitement to the heavyweight division that I have seen in years, and that is Deontay Wilder with 31 wins, no losses and 31 knockouts.
It’s funny, because some people are drawn to certain weight classes. If you were a welterweight boxer, you’re more likely to enjoy a world title fight in the 147lbs division, such as the Pacquaio vs. Bradley rematch this weekend. I’m as excited as you are to watch this rematch, which very well could be the fight of the year, but I on the other hand boxed in the heavyweight division in the amateur game, and that’s why I love nothing more than a good heavyweight boxing match. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a lot of very bad heavyweight fights out there in recent years and I understand that many people still consider the heavyweights, slow, lumbering and even boring, but that’s why I like Wilder, because I think he’s anything but.
It has been a long time since we’ve seen a fighter, let alone an American Heavyweight carry into the ring such an intimidating record. Deontay Wilder, nicknamed, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ after only 19 amateur fights, upset many American amateur heavyweights to become their representative at the 2008 Olympic Games winning a Bronze medal. Ever since, at six foot six and one half inches, two hundred and twenty seven pounds, he is an intimidating figure that has been honing and learning his craft of boxing in the professional ranks.
Many people complained that his management team were not bringing him along fast enough and thus exposing him to better competition, but in my opinion they have done things exactly right. Most boxers that want to rise to the top in the professional ranks more than likely have a deep amateur background, but Wilder was not fortunate to have one, so he was somewhat green when he started his pro career. The good thing is that his raw leverage and power has been too much for any of his opponents to stand up to and now he’s getting better and better.
Like any rising fighter, he has his critics, as an amateur, Wilder was knocked out by Russian, Evgenyi Romanov as you can see here in this youtube video. Romanov waited patiently and tagged Deontay repeatedly with his overhand right as Deontay tends to carry his left hand to the side and somewhat low. This is a habit, which you don’t see too many Europeans doing and perhaps, this one technique of holding your left hand high is why we have seen the surge of european boxers rise to the top in the last ten to twenty years. Having said that, Romanov was a World junior Champion and had much more experience when they boxed as amateurs. I fully believe the outcome would be much more different if they were to box as professionals today.
Even one of the greatest heavyweight Champions ever, Lennox Lewis has tried to tell Wilder to hold his left hand high as seen in this video that was taken back in 2009 in the parking lot of the hotel at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY. It would serve Deontay well to listen to Lewis, a man himself, whose career took a step backwards when he was knocked out by a right hand delivered by Oliver McCall back in 1994. Lennox of course would revenge that loss and all losses that he had as a professional, so he certainly knows what he is talking about.
In Deontay’s most recent fights, he has knocked out a former Olympic Gold medalist, Audley Harrison, a former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Siarhei Liakhovich and a rising heavyweight Malik Scott, all in just one round. How can you deny that this man should be a heavyweight contender that is reckoned with. I for one am a fan of this man and am eager to see him in his next match, whomever that might be. Some will hold judgement until he fights a big heavyweight, like a Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora, or a Kubrat Pulev, but I believe that he beats all three of those guys.
To continue his rise to the top, he’s going to have to correct that low lying left hand, or else a big overhand right hand, timed right, will one day certainly land, and perhaps end this unbeaten streak. The other unknown and the one fighter that I haven’t mentioned in this article is Vladimar Klitschko, the current IBF, WBO, and WBA Heavyweight Champion of the world. The reason is because I don’t think Vladimar has too much time left before he retires as his brother Vitali has done, and I don’t think that they will ever meet. Having said that, I also don’t think Wilder at this stage of his career is ready for a Vladimar Klitschko, but maybe he will be two years down the road if Klitschko is still around.