What we have here is an entertaining fight coming your way on February 25th from Legacy Arena in Birmingham Alabama and will be televised by Showtime. What we don’t have is a good match on any level other than for Deontay’s fans to watch “Bomb Squad” do his thing and notch another easy victory.
Wilder fought in June of last year against trail horse Chris Arreola and secured a mid-fight stoppage. Somewhere among the fisticuffs and hand grenades that Wilder was landing he broke his hand yet again and tore a bicep. Surgery was preformed to correct both injuries. Yours truly has been reporting that the champion is heavily flawed for such an athletic body and his failure to turn power punches over on contact will eventually produce yet another broken hand. It is not as his team suggests, that he hits harder than humanly possible to absorb the impact but rather that he lands his power incorrectly.
I am a fan on Deontay the man, the champion. As likeable a gent as you’ll ever find in this sport but beyond his physical prowess and naturally God given height and reach he simply lacks the core skills to ever mention him in the same breath with the greats who came before him. Before I start window dressing by dissection, let me first remind fans of the WBC champ that they shouldn’t miss this one.
Wilder has been blessed to find an opponent who has an impressive resume but offers not a shred of challenge leaving this bout to a glorified sparring session. Deontay takes on a voluntary defense and pads his retirement account while testing his arm and hand injuries. If training goes well, he’ll have survived beating up the heavy bag. February 25th is Wawrzyk’s turn.
The challenger who hails from Poland is tailored made to make the champion resemble a combination of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Everything we hoped he would be. His truest fans who are beguiled by his size, confidence and power won’t be disappointed. An early onslaught and quick wipe up will have fans up in arms to have their hero fight the April winner of Anthony Joshua Vs Wlad Klitschko. Bad move, and here’s Vinny’s Views…
Wilder is an American giant who stands 6’7” with an 83” wing span. I remember not long ago a reach like that found on Carl “The Truth” Williams simply took your breath away. At thirty one Deontay is just entering his prime and boasts a handsome record of 37-0, 36 KO’s. The champion will be making the fifth defense of his title.
The 29 year old Andrzej on paper matches up nicely but thirty seconds into the bout that goes off the desk and into the waste basket. The challenger from Poland stands 6’5” tall with a 78” reach. His record stands at 33-1, 19 KO’s. You would think two tall Orthodox fighters would make for a can’t miss boxing match but when the first bell rings only one will come to fight. What surprises me most is that there a few recognizable names on his ledger and I wonder out loud how shot they were to have been beaten by Wawrzyk?
I really should tabulate this as “flaws.” First up the champion. As I Have referenced above and in past columns beyond the natural athletic ability he has been severely under schooled in the sweet art of pugilism. His trainer Mark Breland has allowed him to steam roll every foe by his sheer size and power and has neglected to showcase proper technique to allow Deontay to remain champion once the stakes go up. For starters and by God I’m not knit picking Deontay holds his guard up around his waist.
He leads with his chin like a lantern in a fall breeze. He displays his stance far too wide for balance allowing him little movement backwards let alone laterally. Every time he steps the space underneath could host a welterweight fight. Stop laughing, it gets worse. He has a telephone pole for a jab but often neglects to double up on it let alone taking a page from the Larry Holmes handbook. He has no left hook and to land his right hand he needs to be outside the pocket. His combinations are beyond sad and should he happen to hurt his foe become pathetic. Losing all focus on balance he squares up inside the gate and bombs with both hands. Unfortunely this resembles a middle school cafeteria brawl more than a Joe Frazier flurry. That chin, and poor balance were exposed by limited Eric Molina in the third round of their bout back in June of 2015 but Molina failed to capitalize after staggering the giant.
Wawrzyk has a stand up European style and bends at waist at the wrong moments. He pushes his jab which has no snap but might quite possibly be his best punch as he uses it to gage distance and timing. Did I say timing? Giggling to myself as I nearly knocked over my highball glass of Café Patron on ice instead of knocking it down. The challenger comes into the ring soft in the middle as if crunches were banned in his training camp.
His entire muscle tone is abstract and badly in need of a weight lifters gym. He spends precious moments pivoting in ring center on his lead foot appearing to make it the epicenter of some stylish combos that never come to fruition. He literally keeps his combinations in moth balls and his right hand appears to be in an invisible cast. Wait, it gets worse. The spindly legs that support the boxer are also terribly flawed as it appears he wears cement shoes. The footwork is classic yet terribly slow and too deliberate not to offset by simply applying pressure. He works at a slow pace.
What to look for:
If there is one fighter in division who can make Wilder shine like he did on his exhilarating path to the title its Wawrzyk. The champion will come looking for the early kill and pressure the challenger behind stiff jabs while looking to drop a huge right hand behind one. Deontay is about as confidant as you could hope your fighter to be and knowing his adversary will offer little in retaliation he will be focused on getting the match over with as quickly as possible.
Andrzej holds his guard high but Wilder will jab him to the gut early in hopes of getting him to lower it just a few inches. As long as both the repaired hand and bicep hold up from breaks and tears Wilder should get through and make a statement before first round is over.
Wilder by stoppage in four. If for any reason the bell rings for round five is because one of those injuries has resurfaced and he must then fight through pain hoping like the Arreola fight that enough damage is done to his adversary’s face before the hand totally gives out. Either way, its Wilder’s show. Should he elect to fight Joshua in a unification, it will be the last defense he makes as the better skilled IBF champion will expose him for all its worth; his title.
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