Wilder set for 3rd title defense in NY, options narrowed down to two potential opponents


Deontay WilderIt has recently surfaced on multiple media outlets that WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will be defending his belt for a third time on January 16th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Team Wilder has stated that they are looking to fight the highest rated WBC opponent available.


So, considering Wilder defended his title against Eric Molina in June and Johan Duhaupas in September, Wilder is due for a step up to start 2016. The list of available WBC top contenders for Wilder to fight is short.


The only guys on the list who could possibly fight Wilder in January are Vyacheslav Glazkov, Lucas Browne, Artur Szpilka, and Kyotaro Fujimoto.


Young prospects such as Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker were not considered to face Wilder next due to the fact that Wilder versus either of them, if all three stay on course, is a huge fight in any country in the next few years.


Others such as Bryant Jennings, Chris Arreola, Carlos Takam, and Erkan Teper already have fights scheduled close to that date so they are unavailable.


To me, it comes down to Glazkov or Szpilka. Fujimoto would be absolutely disgraceful and Team Wilder and Deontay himself would be heavily criticized even more so for his level of opposition. The fact that Fujimoto is even ranked 15th by the WBC is outrageous.


Browne doesn’t seem to be in the running, either. He recently put on a terrible display with a broken right finger against seven-foot journeyman Julius Long and is currently pursuing Ruslan Chagaev’s regular WBA title, which he is the mandatory for.


Glazkov has gotten some controversial decisions against the likes of Steve Cunningham and Malik Scott, but nevertheless, he did not lose the fights and is the #3 WBC contender at the moment and also the mandatory challenger for Klitschko’s IBF belt.


Szpilka has one loss to Bryant Jennings — a 10th round stoppage in which he was knocked down twice — but he does have a win over a slightly faded Tomasz Adamek, but the opposition he has faced on PBC this year has not been championship level.


It seems like it may be Artur due to the fact that he was supposed to be on the stacked PBC heavyweight card on December 12th in San Antonio versus Amir Mansour, but that fight was mysteriously pulled off without either announcing an injury.


I think it could end up being Glazkov versus Wilder in January. Szpilka was stopped by Bryant Jennings not too long ago, a highly skilled heavyweight not known for his power, and if Jennings can stop Artur, then Wilder should have no trouble stopping him as well.


Glazkov and Szpilka are both young Eastern European boxers who both have fine records and a similar fighting style and background as Povetkin, and both would be solid choices for Wilders next defense. I’m not necessarily saying they both fight like Povetkin, but they do share some of the same mannerisms and strategies in the ring, such as the ability to fight inside.


Another interesting thing about this title defense besides the step up in competition, but it will also supposedly be Wilders first title defense not in his home state of Alabama.


Another reason this fight is in New York is because of who Wilder is most likely facing. There is a large Polish and Ukrainian population in the northeast, and they will definitely turn out to support their hometown hero in a heavyweight championship fight.


With Povetkin on the horizon, Wilder will face a top contender in what may be his breakout year. No matter who it is, we all want to see Wilder face an actual contender before he faces a former world champion, which would help if he ever decides to unify the titles.