Boxing is a business that doesn’t mind creating an illusion of greatness.
The case of Deontay Wilder is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Wilder has won all of his fights, most by violent knockouts. But herein lies the problem. Almost all of his wins have come against fighters with little or no chance of winning. Wilder won the heavyweight crown from Bermane Stiverne, a so-so heavyweight at best. Before winning the title his biggest win was against Malik Scott, who can box a little, but doesn’t always show up. Scott was KO’d in less than a round–a loss that makes Ali knocking out Liston look legit.
Is he the next Michael Grant?
No, he isn’t. Actually, he’s nowhere near as qualified as Grant was. Before his title-shot against the legendary Lennox Lewis, Grant posted wins over David Izon, Lou Savarese, and Andrew Golota, all solid fighters. Grant was technically a good boxer with some skills, Wilder, on the other hand, has poor footwork and is basically a one-dimensional puncher. The one thing he does compare with Grant is his ability or lack of ability to take a punch. We’ll get to that in a second though. The biggest similarity between the two boxers would be the fact that an American Heavyweight Champion is wanted, and a lot think needed in the sport. So with that being said, this is how we get to a boxer like Wilder, being spoon- feed below average competition in hopes that he will get a big money title shot.
Harold Sconiers: Where did the video go?
If you have never heard of Sconiers you’re not alone. He’s a heavyweight who finished his career with a record of 18 wins and 27 losses. When he faced Wilder his record stood at 17 up and 20 down. Wilder was undefeated in 12 fights, with 12 knockouts. I saw the video before it was taken down a few years ago and this is what I remember. Wilder gets dropped heavily by a right hand, sits on his ass and looks like he’s out cold. He’s glassy-eyed and has no idea where he is. He gets to his feet on shaky legs. The referee then proceeds to give one of the longest counts I’ve ever seen. Sconiers was terribly gassed out and threw some wild shots, missing by miles as Wilder managed to survive the round.
This fight was fought within the last decade. The video is harder to find than the original recording of Super Bowl I. How can that be? I’ll tell you why. That video is bad for business, what business you might ask? It’s bad for selling the fraud of Deontay Wilder as heavyweight champion. The terrible thing is that a lot of Americans want the Wilder myth to be true so badly, they defend him no matter what.
Has Wilder been protected?
The best defense for Wilder is that Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz were using steroids. Wilder was signed to fight them but couldn’t because they both failed drug tests. I agree that’s a great reason to pull out, but why is he fighting Ortiz in a few weeks? I’ll address that below.
Wilder’s competition so far in his career has been underwhelming. If you look closely at a list of his fights, there’s nothing on that list that would make you think he’s anything special.
Wilder was a bronze medalist so he has to have at least some skills?
Anyone heard of David Price? He won a bronze medal as well-so winning an Olympic medal has no meaning when we’re looking at the heavyweight division. In the last twenty years, Olympic boxing bears very little resemblance to professional boxing.
A few years ago I would have favored Ortiz easily. The problem is that Ortiz has aged significantly over the last couple of years. Most have his age around 44. Wilder fans scream that he is “only” 38 or 39. Either way, he is an aging heavyweight. His skills seem to be eroding and I think that’s why Wilder has picked him as his next opponent. Once again the credo is protecting Wilder at all costs-until they can cash out against Anthony Joshua.
Joshua looks to be a legitimate force in the heavyweight division. He’s younger than Wilder, has better footwork, and overall has quite a bit more skills. Joshua has beaten better fighters in his 20 fight career. I know an old Klitschko put him down, but at least we can go back and watch it and see Joshua recover and win. We can’t do that with Wilder’s fight against Harold Sconiers–the tape is buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa. If old man Klitschko nails Wilder like he did Joshua–they would still be picking up pieces of Wilder’s jaw off the floor.
Conclusion: Go watch the movie the Great White Hype. Change the lead character to black, and call the movie the Great Black Hype. With that, you have the story or at least the idea of how Wilder became a serious threat to being heavyweight champion of the world. A fighter is only protected for over 30 fight’s in most cases, because his handlers know what will happen if he gets in a real fight. With Wilder the answer is that in a serious fight – he’ll be knocked out. It will not be any ordinary knockout either, it will actually look like a “Bomb Squad.”
Sometime in the next year, Deontay Wilder will end up unconscious on the floor – and I’ll be right there to tell you I told you so.