There are some rare things in boxing lately and a star American heavyweight is one of them and the most valuable. Deontay Wilder, 31-0, 31 KO’s, is the great US hope to bring back the division to the states and do it in style. He is a predator in the ring, stalking his prey and clobbering them with his incredible power. When he hits his opponents, they react differently than when others have caught them. Sergei Liakhovich acted like a fish out of water as he flailed his arms and legs while on the floor. Wilder has been making statement after statement and he made one last Saturday night when he plowed over the once defeated fringe contender, Malik Scott. It was a fight that raised some eyebrows for more than one reason.
The left hook that landed didn’t look particularly hard, but it was enough to send Scott to dreamland and out of the fight in the very first round. It was actually the very first punch that Deontay landed. It helped build this aura of power that Wilder has, but some view the fight with great skepticism and question the outcome. Scott took a dive. That is a statement that has been repeated quite often on line.
In the defense of those that are contending a fix, there are millions of reasons to set up fights for Wilder. He is becoming a huge attraction and the more first round stoppages, the better. There is a buzz surrounding him and that buzz is getting louder by the day. If he were to lose, then he will just be another American bust and another waste. That can be avoided if the end result is predetermined.
After watching the fight, I highly doubt that this is a “fixed” fight in the sense that money was paid to Scott to fall down. The match resembled Mike Tyson – Bruce Seldon, a fight that had the crowd chanting “fix” at its conclusion. Tyson landed a grazing shot to put Seldon down and another grazing one to finish him. The most likely reason those shots finished him was because Seldon let fear get the best of him and sought out a soft spot on the floor. The same can be said for Malik Scott.
At the stare down, it was clear that he did not want to be there. You could see the fear in his eyes. He had read the headlines where nobody gave him a chance, probably saw what was left of Liakhovich convulsing on the floor, and didn’t want to face the true fury of the power. The left hook did land and it was what he had waited for. He went down and gave the stunned performance and took the ten count. He basically waited for the first shot to land to put him out of his misery.
Another option and the one that I tend to put the most faith in is that Wilder is just that powerful. Keep in mind that the left hook is coming from a giant, landed behind the guard of Scott, and he never saw it. Scott was afraid and kept his defense so tight that he couldn’t see the looping hook that would catch him. The slow plodding Dereck Chisora put Scott down. Wilder may not be the quickest guy in the game, but he is much faster than Chisora and from the outset, you could tell that it was just a matter of time.
As slowly as Wilder has been brought along, Scott was brought along even slower. His entire record is based on career losers and the time he stepped up against Chisora and now Wilder, he got stopped.
Wilder needs a real fight. It’s time to stop maneuvering him into opportunity and have him earn it. Fights with Audley Harrison, Sergei Liakhovich and now Scott do little to prove that he is the next big thing in boxing. In his next fight he is supposed to fight the winner of Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title. Either one of those fighters would prove a real test and considering how softly he’s been matched, they may be too much too soon. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
In the end, Malik Scott knew his role and played it well. He was a heavyweight with very little power that fought exclusively from the outside. The end result was obvious and I didn’t think we’d see round two. We didn’t and the truth is that this fight was not fixed…Malik Scott just isn’t very good.