Deontay Wilder showcased his frightening one punch power on Saturday night with a seventh round KO of Luiz Ortiz in their rematch in Las Vegas. After losing pretty much every round to a trimmed down and ever efficient Ortiz, Wilder illustrated how he only needs one punch to dramatically end a contest. A brutal straight right hand from nowhere ended proceedings just as it looked like Wilder might lose his WBC world strap to boxing prowess of his Cuban opponent.
It was a familiar story when it comes to a Deontay Wilder fight night with his inability to win rounds versus the more skilled boxers in the division coupled with the fact that he is arguably one of if not the hardest hitting KO artist the sport has ever seen. As both Ortiz and his previous opponent Dominic Breazeale were flattened by viciously brutal straight right hands to the chin. Being at least four rounds down on the scorecards didn’t faze Wilder as he steamrolled yet another heavyweight and will now face Tyson Fury in their highly anticipated rematch at the end of February.
Many thought that Fury won their first showdown and now that the ‘Gypsy King’ is now fully ingrained in living the life of a boxer (and WWE/MMA star) that same majority will assume Fury will outbox his often wild and scrappy opponent to become WBC champ. Yet as Wilder warned in post fight interviews, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ only needs a couple of seconds to end a contest where as it takes thirty six minutes to win a fight on points. So Fury will have to box perfectly in order not to be on of the end of Wilder’s bombs, and in fairness is probably the right man achieve a victory of this nature. Though it would be foolish to overlook that Wilder now has big fight experience, something that he severely lacked a couple of years ago. He is no longer knocking over average contenders, he is laying out very good boxers cold and Fury may have to fight fire with fire if he is to take Wilder’s long held world championship belt.
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua has already touched down for his epic rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr for the WBA, IBF, WBO and WBA super belts, which is no doubt one of the most eagerly anticipated boxing events in recent history. After the shocking night that was June 1st at The Garden, Joshua will have to prove to the world and perhaps more importantly to himself that he has physical, tactical and mental fortitude to regain what was once his. After another long gap between fights, Joshua in the face of constant questions about why he lost his belts to Ruiz is no doubt more than ready to set the record straight.
This time around a full camp preparing for Ruiz’s come forward style with proper sparring partners will no doubt help no end. Coupled with the fact that Ruiz now obviously has Joshua’s respect after the way Joshua was essentially beaten up for four rounds after being scrambled by a hook to the temple in that incredible third round in New York in June. There are no distractions now, however hard other fighters in the division try to take Joshua’s eye off the ball. He must win this fight as if he doesn’t the career we all imagined he would have will be in complete tatters.
Yet his game opponent will of course not be keen to relinquish his current pole position in the heavyweight division especially after spending so many years fighting to make a name for himself. Andy Ruiz Jr, the chubby, nice guy from Mexico has already proved the world wrong and can now set his sights on defining his own legacy. And of course knows he can hurt Joshua if he is able to get on the inside of AJ’s defenses, which he did at will back in the early summer. And in truth if he is able to get Joshua to engage at close range with regularity then Ruiz’s renowned hand speed will surely see him leave Saudi victorious.
Predicting a fight of this nature seems nigh on impossible as there are many avenues that the December 7th night air could head down. AJ could blow away his opponent, being the bigger and stronger man. Or instead, as many predict, he will look to keep Ruiz on the end of his jab and regain his titles by way of the judges. Joshua though, after all the ridicule and negative attention he has been in the face of since June may very well want (and need) to blow his opponent away to right the deep wrongs he is no doubt harbouring. In doing so though, he could very well play into the hands of his slick and savvy opponent, who would no doubt welcome another war in the middle of the ring.
Probably the biggest watch this space of all time.
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