Slow And Steady Pace Still For Deontay Wilder

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When you talk to casual boxing fans, 1 of the reasons that they think boxing is not as big as it used to be is because we don’t have a Mike Tyson, or an Evander Holyfield, or even a George Foreman, Larry Holmes, or Joe Frazier. What boxing needs is a great American Heavyweight fighter. Now don’t get me wrong, we do currently have some good potential ones like Seth Mitchell, Bryant Jennings, and Eddie Chambers, but Mitchell is already 30, Bryant Jennings is more technical than a KO guy, Eddie Chambers is 30, not a big KO guy, and already has 3 losses.

Today I want to bring up another prospect that I’ve been watching for a couple years now, a boxer that that has 1 of the biggest right hands in the sport, a guy that is younger than the 3 names listed above and is an American Olympic medalist, this man is The Bronze Bomber, Deontay Wilder.

Deontay Wilder was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At the height of 6’7 and at the time right around 200 lbs, he dreamt to do what a lot of guys want to do from Alabama, to 1 day play for the University of Alabama football team. However, with the birth of his 1st child before he was even 21, he decided to focus on the sport of boxing. He started boxing in 2005 and by 2007 he was already a National Golden Gloves Champion, defeating favorite Isiah Thomas, a guy that Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward once called “The Next Big Thing”, and then David Thompson in the finals. Next Wilder went on to win the US Boxing Championships by beating his friend Quantis Graves, a guy he beat 3 times in his amateur career, a fighter who is also currently 5-0 in his pro career. Next up for Wilder were the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Wilder went on to win a Bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics after beating Abdelaziz Toulbini of Algeria in the rd of 16 and then a close win against Mohamed Arjaoui of Morocco in the quarterfinals before losing to the eventual silver medalist Clemente Russo of Italy in the semis. After the Olympics, Wilder turned pro in November of 2008 and defeated a 33 year old by the name of Ethan Cox by 2nd rd TKO. Wilder would go on to win his next 22 fights over the next 3 and half years, not only stopping every single 1 of his opponents, but stopping them by the 4th rd.

His next fight will be this Saturday August 4th, against Kertson Manswell (22-5 with 17 KOs), who fills in for Kelvin Price, who pulled out of the fight about 2 weeks ago due to a rib injury. It will definitely be a step up for Wilder as Manswell has shown good power and even though he may not be a top heavyweight, he is experienced and can knock him out if Wilder loses concentration.

Wilder’s 3 biggest knocks are 1, his defense needs to improve as he doesn’t keep his guard high enough and is susceptible to the jab, 2, he doesn’t use his left enough (he has 1 of the best rights in the sport), but instead of using his left, he just cocks his right most of the fight, and 3 (This is the biggest knock on him), his level of competition.

Against better competition they will force him to improve his defense and to use his left more because better fighters will continue to jab him and just block on their left side to block his left. So he either will have to adjust or he will eventually get caught. I think if Wilder started to use his left jab more, it would help his defense because he has such an extraordinary long reach at 84 inches, that can prevents fighters from getting inside on him.

Wilder has shown he has power than can KO anyone, now the issue is how far that power can carry him. He has said he will continue to step up in competition and even though it has been at a very slow rate, the competition will be better now and should be even higher with his next fight. If I were in control of Wilder, I think he must fight 3 types of fighters to show he’s true big time contender. First, he has to fight a veteran that has a great chin, because he has never fought more than 4 rounds and his stamina needs to be tested. Second, he should face a savvy Southpaw, just to show him some of the different types of fighters he would have to face on the way up. Finally, he needs to face a true boxer, who uses his jab, is under the age of 30, and has somewhere in the talent level that he has, someone like David Price of the UK.

One of the worst things you can say about an athlete is, “they were a guy that was filled with potential” which means they never got to the level to fulfill the potential that was expect of them. Well now it’s time for The Bronze Bomber, Deontay Wilder, to start fulfilling his immense talent and potential. Enjoy his, and the rest of fights this weekend.