Connect with us

Articles

Deontay Wilder Wins, But His Stock Stays Flat

Published

on

This past Saturday night in Birmingham Alabama, we saw WBC heavyweight title holder Deonaty Wilder 34-0 (33) in a good give and take scuffle with challenger Eric Molina 23-3 (17).

It was Wilder’s first defense of the title he won back in January. The fight was not only action packed but also may have provided a glimpse of some things to come pertaining to the “Bronze Bomber’s” future.

As most observers know, Wilder has a reputation for being a big puncher and a hard worker. But prior to fighting Molina, it was hard to say for certain just how much of a force he’ll be in a post Klitschko heavyweight era, if he still holds a piece of the title then. Wilder, 29, did what he was supposed to do versus Molina, and that was win the fight in a convincing fashion via stopping him in the ninth round with a massive right hand to the head.

Throughout the course of nine rounds, Wilder dropped Molina four times before referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight after the final knockdown. That’s the good of it.

I think at this point I’m convinced Wilder can punch and his power is legit. No, he’s not the second coming of George Foreman, but he carries some pop at the end of his right hand and that night revealed he has a decent left hook too. Molina isn’t known for being the most durable guy in the division – but when Wilder managed to land flush he put him down in a dramatic fashion. But one also cannot overlook that Molina got up three times and had a few moments of his own after being down.

If you were watching Wilder and looking for little indicators to sway you one way or the other, there were some things that should alarm you, not that every contender or belt holder isn’t without their warts. What bothered me was how reluctant Deontay looked at the onset of the fight – especially at a time when Molina was unsure of himself and trying to find his footing. I was expecting Wilder to come out hard and establish himself as being the dominant physical presence in there, but instead he poked and pawed with his long left jab and allowed Molina to become brave as color commentator Paulie Malinaggi pointed out.

As you saw when Molina, who came to fight and win the title, caught on that Wilder was a little tentative himself, three things happened – 1) Molina let his hands go and caught Wilder; 2) Wilder was shook pretty good in the third round and was a punch away from being in serious trouble and 3) once Deontay recovered he became over-anxious and wild with his pursuit. And I could add four, stressing how Wilder backed straight up when Molina decided to press him. This is a cardinal sin and stressed not to do because any attacker can move forward faster than anybody can go back. If you doubt that, watch any one of the three historic confrontations between legendary greats Muhammad Ali and “Smokin” Joe Frazier. As fast as Ali was on his feet, Joe had no trouble cornering Ali or trapping him on the ropes when Muhammad went straight back. A fighter should never take more than three steps back and should cut to a side by the third step or he’s going to get nailed and be in a defenseless position.

Another thing that stood out to me and will become an issue when Wilder steps up in class is, he doesn’t really try to deceive throwing his big right hand. He jabs, keeps it in the holster as a threat, and then tries to guess when he feels his opponent is most vulnerable to him letting it go. I didn’t see many multiple jabs with commitment and his offense was devoid of body work. The effort to set up the right wasn’t there. Wilder would’ve gone less rounds with Molina most likely if he had gone to the body with his left hook the way Thomas Hearns used to. Then again his trainer Mark Breland, who was a terrific “out” fighter wasn’t much of a body puncher or inside fighter. So I doubt we’ll see Wilder excel in those areas anytime soon.

Having said that, most of the mechanics and unimaginative offense Wilder exhibited against Molina can be addressed and tweaked. He may have 34 professional fights under his belt but he’s only boxed 79 rounds. And in all honesty he’s only really fought four or five opponents who actually got his attention and forced him to fight with a sense of urgency. Wilder has tools and a skill-set to work with, especially if you keep in mind that the heavyweight division in 2015 is nothing close to the baddest block in the neighborhood like it was in the 1970’s and 1990’s. So he cannot be overlooked or dismissed.

What concerns me most about Wilder down the road is his defense and durability regarding his punch resistance. He was shook pretty good by one left hook from Molina in the third round and Eric came real close to removing Wilder’s head from his shoulders with a few beautiful uppercuts that just missed their target. Wilder was also vulnerable up the middle versus Molina. Yes, he recovered from the big left hook in the third round, but I kept thinking what if it was later in the fight… or he was tired? Or what if he had a grinder in front of him like Alexander Povetkin 29-1 (21) – who has been mentioned as his next opponent? Povetkin has only lost once and that was to Wladimir Klitschko, who is no doubt the alpha fighter in the heavyweight division. Klitschko, who is physically bigger and stronger than Wilder, had Povetkin down four times but couldn’t put him away.

I can see Wilder getting out ahead of Povetkin early but being susceptible in the second half of the fight. I’m sure after seeing Wilder fight Molina, Povetkin is confident that he can grind Deontay down and have his way with him later as the bout progresses. And that will make the matchup worth watching, make people want to see if Wilder can improve from what we saw against Molina. As it was mentioned earlier, Wilder can improve his mechanics and fundamentals, something I expect to see when he next fights. However, the chin and durability is a real concern. Having a sturdy chin as a last line of defense is not a luxury fighting in the heavyweight division, it’s a necessity.

Wilder’s stock didn’t drop based off of his showing against Molina, but I doubt it rose. As of this writing, interest in him still remains.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME®

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Articles

2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

Published

on

The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

 

Continue Reading

Articles

Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

Published

on

This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Continue Reading

Articles

2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

Published

on

On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Continue Reading

Trending