Deontay Wilder: Doing it for America

Monday, 26 January 2015  |  Carl


By Abbas Dadhiwala: The heavyweight scene in America has been in the doldrums, no American heavyweight has held a version of the World title since Shannon Briggs was WBO champion. It has been long wait for American to find a World Champion but Deontay Wilder has stepped up to the plate and been crowned WBC world champion.

Everyone can remember the epic fights between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, namely the ‘Thrilla In Manila,’ widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight fight of all time. ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ is another fight that has been etched into the memory of boxing fans across the world with Muhammad Ali a heavy underdog coming through against big George Foreman. Buster Douglas’s demolition of Tyson in Tokyo was another landmark boxing fight that is remembered as the night the baddest man on the planet was tamed. The common theme in all of these fights was they all included American fighters.

Never has there been a time when America has not produced a Heavyweight boxing champion. Since Shannon Briggs became Champion in 2006 winning the WBO belt, 13 American boxers have tried and failed in World title fights.

This all changed when Deontay Wilder beat Stiverne for the Heavyweight belt on a Don King Promotion at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Stiverne came into the fight stopping Arreola to win the vacant WBC belt. Wilder came into the fight on the back of 32 straight stoppage wins. Wilder has beaten the likes of 2000 Olympics Heavyweight gold medalist Audley Harrison, Malik Scott.

As soon as the fight was announced, Wilder with his 100% knockout percentage meant he was installed as the favourite. Stiverne came into the fight not looking in shape, he looked tubby round the belly area. Wilder looked in peak physical condition. Similar to what Ali did in the Rumble in the Jungle he used a tactic nobody thought he would use, and it fooled Foreman. Instead of flying in to Knockout Stiverne, Wilder bided his time and stomped Stiverne in the face all night long with a stiff jab. Due to Stiverne not having trained right, there was no snap in his punches, no power in his legs to launch meaningful attacks. Stiverne looked a shadow of the boxer who beat Arreola. The fight reminded me a lot of the Tyson-Lewis fight. Tyson just didn’t have the speed to get around Lewis’s jab and land some shots. Stiverne was the same, he just couldn’t get past the jab of wilder.

The last great unified champion was Britain’s Lennox Lewis. The Klitschko’s have just not impressed. However America now has Wilder who has box office appeal, the looks, poise and most importantly the punch to bring the glory of days of heavyweight boxing back to America.

Let’s hope Deontay steps up to the plate and becomes the great champion we all think he will be. The fights on the horizon are Tyson Fury who is looking to pay off Christian Hammer and then book a date with Wilder. Frank Warren is licking his lips with delights at the thought of his match up taking place. Anthony Joshua is also and up and coming boxer who wants a piece of the action. The world is waiting with baited breath to see what happens next in the Heavyweight division which is Boxing’s jewel in the crown. Long live Heavyweight boxing

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