On Saturday, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, heavyweight fringe contender, Deontay Wilder, 22-0, 22 KO’s, will take on former title challenger, Owen Beck, 29-10, 20 KO’s. Wilder is a fighter that a lot of people are invested in and are watching. His career is being brought along slowly and safely. The same approach is not being applied to Beck’s career.
Beck began his career with a record of 24-0 before losing to Monte Barrett. His weight at that time was around 235. Beck is now riding a seven fight losing streak and came into his last fight at 252 pounds. He has become the punching bag to nearly everyone that he faces in the ring nowadays and sometimes, he loses in terrifying fashion.
When he signed on to fight David “Nino” Rodriguez, an untested heavyweight that his being brought along at the same rate as Wilder, I was hoping that the commission would have stepped in. Beck had lost four straight times by knockout going into that fight at Rodriguez is a huge puncher. The hook that sent Beck to the floor in round three could have been deadly. Beck has absolutely no business in this dangerous game when he has nothing left and, judging by his fluctuating weights, he’s not training as he once did.
In Beck’s last fight, the only bout that he hasn’t lost by knockout in the last seven, he dropped a four round unanimous decision to a fighter that was making their professional debut. He cannot pull the trigger anymore and it’s quite obvious that this fight with Wilder is for strictly the money, but what will the cost be at the end of the night?
Wilder is a big puncher. That’s about all we know about him at this point, considering the long line of mediocrities that they have been feeding him. He will not be tested on Saturday night. Beck’s reflexes are shot, he never had exceptional defense, and he stands directly in front of his opponent. This fight is not getting out of the first round.
When does the sport step in and tell Beck that he shouldn’t fight anymore? He’s lost 7 in a row, 6 by knockout, many of which were devastating. He’s in the division where the men hit the hardest and Deontay Wilder, as evident by his 22 wins, all by knockout, is not going in there to jab and move. He is going in there to pummel a fighter that has nothing left and that is exactly what will happen.
The hope is that Beck will walk away from this night with his faculties still in order. If he does, expect him to be fed to the up and comers of the sport and expect him to be carried out of the ring on a regular basis. It’s an unfortunate thing that boxers seem to fight on too long, but it is usually financially driven. Beck probably needs the money but the overall cost to his health is the concern. Hopefully the fight ends quickly and he isn’t hurt too bad.