It’s Show Time For Wilder
Will Deontay Wilder (33-0-0, 32 KOs) continue to roll, or will he cough up the WBC heavyweight title to another American?
Heavyweight boxer and rising star Deontay Wilder, also known as the Bronze Bomber, defends his title this Saturday at UAB’s Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The fight will be televised on Showtime at 9PM ET.
The 29-year-old will be facing off against 33-year-old Texas native Eric Molina (23-2-0, 17 KOs), who is riding a five-fight winning streak into this title bout. Molina faces criticism from the boxing community that feels he hasn’t earned the shot at a world title yet. His opponent begged to differ at a media event on the 8th.
“Molina understands what the situation is, and he stepped up to the plate and understands the opportunity is at hand.”
Both of Molina’s losses have come in the first round. That’s bad news for him and may mean a short fight this Saturday, as the Bronze Bomber specializes in first-round knockouts. After all, he’s got eighteen of them.
Let’s head to the film room to examine Wilder’s recent title victory over Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs), an incredibly lopsided decision which somehow has been Wilder’s closest professional fight.
Wilder is an extremely aggressive boxer. The 6-foot-7 boxer uses his incredible length to keep opponents at bay with the jab while he looks for openings to send more powerful punches:
Those jabs don’t look very hard, but they are fast and they sting. Wilder would have been a favorite of Gregg Williams – he is constantly touching and affecting the head with every action, no matter how inconsequential it seems.
Eventually after probing opponents’ defenses enough, he will find an opening, and it doesn’t take much for him to exploit that opening:
After stunning Stiverne (no easy task, he’s got one of the toughest chins in all of boxing), Wilder spends no time in going in and pursuing him to the ropes.
Wilder’s trademark in his knockouts is the use of his fists as clubs, raining down heavy blows with the thin side of the glove until the opponent is either knocked out or the ref stops the fight:
If Molina has a prayer of winning the fight, he needs to either knock Wilder out before he enters beast mode or learn how to effectively counter while getting clubbed. My prediction: the nineteenth first-round knockout for the Tuscaloosa native.
I will be covering the fight in person at Bartow arena and will be providing updates via Twitter. Follow @FirstAndMonday and @ZTannerScout on Twitter for live updates from Birmingham on the 13th.
Cotto Sends Geale “Down Under”
Future Boxing Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto (40-4-0, 33 KOs) has revived his career with the help of Freddie Roach.
It was a short night in New York on Saturday, June 6th as Miguel Cotto defended his WBC Middleweight belt against Aussie Daniel Geale (31-4-0, 16 KOs) on HBO in a championship bout which featured no undercards and ended in the fourth round.
Cotto used the left hook to devastating effect as his powerful punches clearly bothered Geale all night long. After being told by legendary trainer Freddie Roach to be more aggressive and engage Geale, Cotto landed a sweet right to the cheek of Geale which sent him falling towards the ropes. While Geale somehow got back to his feet before the count was over, another knockdown was enough for him as he shook his head at the ref when the second count hit eight.
The successful title defense by Cotto sets the stage for the largest PPV boxing match since Mayweather/Pacquiao. Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) has won thrice since losing to Money in 2013 and will likely face off against Cotto for the WBC and The Ring Light Middleweight championship.
The Puerto Rico-Mexico boxing rivalry is one of the best in international sports, and there’s a lot of history there – Margarito/Cotto, Gomez/Sanchez, Trinidad/Vargas – and Cotto/Alvarez will likely become the highest-grossing of them all.
Promoter and former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya is already hyping up the match.
“(Cotto/Canelo) is the biggest fight in boxing after Mayweather/Pacquiao. But the difference is that with Cotto/Canelo, you are guaranteed action. There’s no other way around it.”
He’s not wrong. Cotto/Canelo would likely be the most entertaining PPV fight in a long time, and it’s hard not to envision it ending in a knockout. Whether you’re a boxing fan or not, it’s worth paying attention to this fight.