This weekend marks the first official fight weekend of the 2016 calendar year, and one thing sticks out when one looks on Boxrec to view all the matchups: most of them include top heavyweights in action, which very well could be a trend for the year.
The main fight of the weekend is Deontay Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) making the third defense of his WBC Heavyweight belt, against Polish challenger Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) who has been a part of several exciting fights, including two wars with Mike Mollo and a stoppage loss to Bryant Jennings in the tenth and final round, fights that Szpilka was down in multiple times.
2016 is a make or break year for Wilder, as heavyweight supremacy is there for the taking. With matchups on the horizon vs the likes of Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury, Wilder cannot overlook Szpilka, who may be susceptible to the big punch, but can also deliver his own bombs.
Yet, this is not the only big heavyweight fight on Saturday. On the undercard of Wilder vs Szpilka, Showtime Championship Boxing will also air another heavyweight title fight. Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-0-1, 13 KOs) and Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) will battle for the vacant IBF belt that was wrongfully stripped of Tyson Fury after he defeated Klitschko.
Both of these heavyweights are viewed as prospects or contenders at best, but one of them will be a belt holder come Saturday night. The winner of this fight will most likely be forced into an immediate unification fight with either Wilder, Luis Ortiz, or the Fury vs Klitschko II winner, being that Glazkov and Martin will be viewed as the heavyweight champ of the world by 0% of the boxing community.
Those are the two main heavyweight clashes in the United States, but what about across the pond? Ahh, of course: the Hayemaker is back.
David Haye will fight for the first time since the summer of 2012, when he knocked out Dereck Chisora in a highly anticipated all-British heavyweight bout. For his return, Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) will face off vs unknown Mark De Mori (30-1-2, 26 KOs) at the O2 Arena.
It will be intriguing to see how much, if any, ring rust Haye shows after not having a fight in three and a half years. De Mori has about no solid names on his resume other than Alex Leapai, whom he fought at an extremely early point in his career.
De Mori does seem to possess some power, and with Hayes chin even in his prime being solid but not great, the challenger will most likely go guns blazing for the knockout from the opening bell. Haye will probably outclass and knockout de Mori with ease but in the sport of boxing, especially after a long layoff, we should never know what to expect.
So on Saturday, boxing will make its unofficial return to our televisions and laptops, and the amount of heavyweight fights that will be featured on that day, could serve as a glimpse at what’s in store for the great sport of boxing in 2016.