Blame The Media And Fans If Wilder Picks Another Easy Win Next

He’s received some noteworthy attention in 2015, having won the WBC heavyweight title in January and then defending it this past weekend with a ninth round knockout over challenger Eric Molina 23-3 (17).

Because he’s built a reputation as being a puncher, most of the analysis on him is partisan. He’s either Thomas Hearns as a heavyweight, meaning he’s the real deal and can put anyone he hits cleanly to sleep……or he’s Alex Stewart with a more imposing build and projection, meaning he’s feasted on second and third tier opposition but will come up short in the big spot against the supposed elite heavyweights currently in the mix chasing Wladimir Klitschko.

Obviously I’m talking about the 6’7″ 230 pound WBC title holder Deontay Wilder 34-0 (33). And based on his showing against Molina, there’s a lot to chew on and dissect regarding his place among the best heavyweights in the world and who he’ll next fight. This being the week after he beat Molina, I’ve read three names being floated as possibly being his next opponent – Alexander Povetkin, Chris Arreola and Tony Thompson.

All three, in-spite of not being contenders like we had in the 1970s and 1990s, are a dramatic step up from Eric Molina, who was stopped twice before in the first round before facing Wilder and was barely a fringe contender. And yet Molina further exposed Wilder’s chin and some of his technical deficiencies and vulnerabilities in a losing effort.

However, that doesn’t make Wilder a bad guy for fighting him. Let’s be honest, if Wilder, Tyson Fury or Wladimir Klitschko were going to fight a killer every time out, they’d probably fight once every two years, if that. And yet I have no doubt and will suggest that it’s not likely we’ll see either Chris Arreola 36-4 (31) or Alexander Povetkin 29-1 (21) swapping punches with Wilder in his next bout. And if I’m looking at it from Wilder’s managerial perspective I can’t blame them. Arreola isn’t the most skilled or sophisticated stylistically fighter in the heavyweight division and everyone knows that – but Chris is very willing and fearless. Add to that he can punch and always lets his hands go, especially early in the bout. And if you noticed against Molina, who is known for having a decent right hand, Wilder fought cautiously and with trepidation early because he was concerned about it. Arreola, unlike Molina, who he stopped in the first round when they fought, would come out winging and looking to instill some fear and worry into Wilder’s psyche, something that if it happened would handcuff Wilder and make him glove-shy like we saw during too many patches versus Molina.

Because of his willingness to fight wide open and because of his mindset, Arreola is a bad match for Wilder. And that’s compounded by the prospect that Arreola is at a crossroads in his career and really needs a win over a name opponent. Make no mistake about it, Arreola would be sky high for the opportunity to get a shot against Wilder and be the first to derail him.

As for Alexander Povetkin, he presents a different set of obstacles for Wilder than Arreola. Arreola is easy to find and hit, and Wilder can punch. So it’s not like Wilder couldn’t catch Chris during one of his wild assaults and stop him. But that doesn’t apply to Povetkin. Actually, Povetkin would test Wilder’s stamina and chin. Alexander is very durable and determined. The only time he was out manned or out gunned occurred when he fought Wladimir Klitschko back in October of 2013. Wladimir, who is physically bigger and stronger than Wilder and is also a bigger puncher, had Povetkin down four times, yet Alexander still went the distance with him. And as overmatched as he was, I never got the feeling Povetkin really submitted or wanted out. Povetkin is a grinder and takes a good punch. In a Wilder vs. Povetkin clash, it’s a safe bet that the fight will go the distance. This is a scary thought if you are managing Wilder. Knowing Deontay will have to fight and hold off Povetkin for 12-rounds is a long time to hope nothing will go wrong for Wilder.

As of this writing Arreola and Povetkin look to be out of alignment for Wilder to fight when it comes to the risk/reward factor. If Wilder beat either Arreola or Povetkin, he wouldn’t get all that much credit for it. Actually, the conversation would go something like this……Arreola has been stopped twice and usually lost when he stepped up in class. On top of that he lost twice to Bermane Stiverne, who happens to be the fighter Wilder beat to win the WBC title. As for Povetkin, they’d say, he lost the biggest fight of his career and was never in it against Klitschko. He couldn’t put away a cruiserweight title holder in Marco Huck, who moved up to challenge him a few years ago. Plus, Povetkin is slow footed and there to be hit by someone with Wilder’s style and reach. So based on the factors mentioned, I just don’t see Wilder fighting either Arreola or Povetkin, although I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

The question is…”What would you do next if you were guiding Wilder?” Especially when his team knows their fighter will be torn apart the next day for beating either Arreola or Povetkin and won’t be lauded for the accomplishment. Keep in mind they have to bring him to the biggest money fight possible against Wladimir Klitschko. And at the same time juggle keeping him active and undefeated. Because if they know nothing else, the boxing public discards fighters wrongly once they’ve lost. If Wilder lost a split decision to Povetkin, he’d be written off as a future hope by the fans and media because that’s how they/me/we are.

I think we’ll see Wilder in the ring next again versus Tony Thompson 40-5 (27) or Carlos Takam 32-2-1 (25). Thompson is big and slow and can’t punch and he’s a big target. He’d be there for Wilder to pot shot and out speed. And Tony isn’t much of a threat to hurt or stop Wilder. Takam has an impressive record over washed up fighters and title challengers. The numbers suggest he can punch a little bit, but the names on his record dramatically refute that.

There will be interest in Wilder’s next fight. It won’t be against an opponent who the fans want to see, count on that. Unlike Floyd Mayweather, Wilder hasn’t made his money yet. And I’m quite sure the Wilder faction understands that once Deontay loses, the interest in him will suffer in a big way. So if you’re unhappy with whom Wilder defends his title against next, remember, because of the template set by fans not having much interest in prominent fighters once they lose, we can harbor some of the blame for how the game is played.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

COMMENTS

-Radam G :

I'm not going to hate on D-Wild, but he is definitely no heavyweight Tommy Hearns. And he might be a step below Alex Stewart. D-Wild is clearly a modern-day Primo Canera. No fault of his own. The game is about making dough the best and most that you can. D-Ward is going to make that money. And not by fighting the best available heavyweight pugs. The game is all about fooling the watching eyeballs of the fans, fanfaronades and fanboys. You give them optical illusions and they are happy. They don't care about the actuality of the reality. They want to be fooled. That is how magic rolls. Holla!


-Radam G :

I'm not going to hate on D-Wild, but he is definitely no heavyweight Tommy Hearns. And he might be a step below Alex Stewart. D-Wild is clearly a modern-day Primo Canera. No fault of his own. The game is about making dough the best and most that you can. D-Ward is going to make that money. And not by fighting the best available heavyweight pugs. The game is all about fooling the watching eyeballs of the fans, fanfaronades and fanboys. You give them optical illusions and they are happy. They don't care about the actuality of the reality. They want to be fooled. That is how magic rolls. Holla!


-Domenic :

Wilder should steer clear of Povetkin (although Povetkin is the WBC's #1 contender, so he won't be able to dodge him too long). I think Arreola could possibly beat Wilder. Very dangerous fight there. CA won't come to lay down and he's not afraid of the big stage. Anthony Joshua is the #2 contender. Another very dangerous fight, but maybe they could pursue Joshua while he's still green (think I'd take Joshua though). If it's another gimme, why not dredge up Briggs. The press conferences will bring the absurdity factor to operatic levels. Briggs didn't exactly sparkle in his last outing though (he gets rid of him quick but it's all around ugly). Brownsugar provided a nice, humorous write up about it on some other thread. Here it is:
->http://youtu.be/XU0pXgdWqIM All Wilder needs to do is try and hold the strap until a unification fight happens (Klitschko or Fury), and he'll cash a huge ticket. But this title reign won't last.


-Chris L :

No, if Wilder takes another soft touch (who are we kidding; of course he will), I'll blame Al Haymon.


-Radam G :

No, if Wilder takes another soft touch (who are we kidding; of course he will), I'll blame Al Haymon.
Why? TsAH is doing his job. A manager is suppose to get the easiest scrap for you with the most money and less risks, especially if you are not that skill and are perpetrating a fraud. Remember that it is prize fighting, not battling the best. And trying to pass a scrapping test. Sorry, fans! You have been bamboozled and hoodwinked. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

I already do blame tsAH for this fugazy champion. ( fugazy- NYC slang for fake,not authentic ) Wilder should have been tested against decent journeyman and not the lineup of cans we have watched. The man is in his 34th fight and what does he have to show? He looked uncoordinated and weak chinned against No hope Molina. TsAH might match him against Thompson, but Thompson at age 43 , 6 foot 5, and on the way down might actually be too durable for Wilder. TsAH might pick Szpilka for the matchup against Wilder. TsAH just fed Szpilka a bum last week. Szpilka is decent and moves well but might make for an easier matchup for Wilder. Briggs vs Wilder is the way to go. If Wilder can stop Briggs he can brag about something. Not too many man on the planet can say they knocked out Briggs and I doubt that Wilder could.


-brownsugar :

When Wilder was after the title and put in his bid to fight Areola to see who would get Stiverne for the title, Areola was very adamant that he wasnt going anywhere near the Bum Ko Machine. This was right after Areola dismissed former Footballer and temporary Shot Caller (until Banks wrecked him) Seth Mitchell. King did his best to keep Stiverne from Wilder even when there was no concrete evidence that Wilder could even Compete with a fighter not classified as a bum. And to put things in perspective Provetkin IS the defacto 2nd best heavyweight after WK. Provetkin earned the status due to his competent starching of Charr, Takam, and Perez. Let's not steep the curve for Wilder while simutaneously dismissing Provetkin's proven history as complete 12 round fighter with elite skills and solid punching power. Given Provetkin's last three fights its easy to see why WK groped and held Provetkin a record number of times in a foul filled affair to prevent the MMA exhibition from evolving into a boxing match. Provetkin is that dangerous. Tyson Fury has turned down Wilder twice now. So as far as whose left, .... Areola, and Thompson are both more credible than the fat, greying, old man in search of an equally fat paycheck named Shannon Briggs .....who has had nothing on his resume for the last couple of years even worth mentioning. I'm not opposed to the fight but Thompson or Arreola who still hold a modicum of respect within the industry and their peers offer much more credibility in the way of status than Briggs does. Ultimately Provetkin and Joshua are the best looking in the division right now, after WK, but I'd rate Wilder in the 4th or 5th spot without reservation for what its worth.


-amayseng :

I already do blame tsAH for this fugazy champion. ( fugazy- NYC slang for fake,not authentic ) Wilder should have been tested against decent journeyman and not the lineup of cans we have watched. The man is in his 34th fight and what does he have to show? He looked uncoordinated and weak chinned against No hope Molina. TsAH might match him against Thompson, but Thompson at age 43 , 6 foot 5, and on the way down might actually be too durable for Wilder. TsAH might pick Szpilka for the matchup against Wilder. TsAH just fed Szpilka a bum last week. Szpilka is decent and moves well but might make for an easier matchup for Wilder. Briggs vs Wilder is the way to go. If Wilder can stop Briggs he can brag about something. Not too many man on the planet can say they knocked out Briggs and I doubt that Wilder could.
Briggs has a chin and a good punch, despite being past it and Wilder has been hurt before. I see a good chance Briggs catches him and puts him on queer street and may have the ability to follow him up and get him out of there. Too much risk for the risk adverse TSAH


-amayseng :

I already do blame tsAH for this fugazy champion. ( fugazy- NYC slang for fake,not authentic ) Wilder should have been tested against decent journeyman and not the lineup of cans we have watched. The man is in his 34th fight and what does he have to show? He looked uncoordinated and weak chinned against No hope Molina. TsAH might match him against Thompson, but Thompson at age 43 , 6 foot 5, and on the way down might actually be too durable for Wilder. TsAH might pick Szpilka for the matchup against Wilder. TsAH just fed Szpilka a bum last week. Szpilka is decent and moves well but might make for an easier matchup for Wilder. Briggs vs Wilder is the way to go. If Wilder can stop Briggs he can brag about something. Not too many man on the planet can say they knocked out Briggs and I doubt that Wilder could.
Briggs has a chin and a good punch, despite being past it and Wilder has been hurt before. I see a good chance Briggs catches him and puts him on queer street and may have the ability to follow him up and get him out of there. Too much risk for the risk adverse TSAH


-oubobcat :

I already do blame tsAH for this fugazy champion. ( fugazy- NYC slang for fake,not authentic ) Wilder should have been tested against decent journeyman and not the lineup of cans we have watched. The man is in his 34th fight and what does he have to show? He looked uncoordinated and weak chinned against No hope Molina. TsAH might match him against Thompson, but Thompson at age 43 , 6 foot 5, and on the way down might actually be too durable for Wilder. TsAH might pick Szpilka for the matchup against Wilder. TsAH just fed Szpilka a bum last week. Szpilka is decent and moves well but might make for an easier matchup for Wilder. Briggs vs Wilder is the way to go. If Wilder can stop Briggs he can brag about something. Not too many man on the planet can say they knocked out Briggs and I doubt that Wilder could.
My guess would be that Szpilka is in fact the choice. He is tough and will come to fight like Molina. In addition, Szpilka is not a one punch ko guy (power is average at best) and though he has decent skills and athleticism can't close close to matching Wilder in those categories. Szpilka is also a draw in Chicago which is where I would speculate the fight would take place since it seems unlikely that Wilder would fight in the fall in Alabama during the heart of college football season. Also to note Steve Cunningham and Antonio Tarver are rumored to be facing each other in August so that takes both of them out for Wilder in the near future though either could emerge down the line as a future Wilder foe.


-oubobcat :

I already do blame tsAH for this fugazy champion. ( fugazy- NYC slang for fake,not authentic ) Wilder should have been tested against decent journeyman and not the lineup of cans we have watched. The man is in his 34th fight and what does he have to show? He looked uncoordinated and weak chinned against No hope Molina. TsAH might match him against Thompson, but Thompson at age 43 , 6 foot 5, and on the way down might actually be too durable for Wilder. TsAH might pick Szpilka for the matchup against Wilder. TsAH just fed Szpilka a bum last week. Szpilka is decent and moves well but might make for an easier matchup for Wilder. Briggs vs Wilder is the way to go. If Wilder can stop Briggs he can brag about something. Not too many man on the planet can say they knocked out Briggs and I doubt that Wilder could.
My guess would be that Szpilka is in fact the choice. He is tough and will come to fight like Molina. In addition, Szpilka is not a one punch ko guy (power is average at best) and though he has decent skills and athleticism can't close close to matching Wilder in those categories. Szpilka is also a draw in Chicago which is where I would speculate the fight would take place since it seems unlikely that Wilder would fight in the fall in Alabama during the heart of college football season. Also to note Steve Cunningham and Antonio Tarver are rumored to be facing each other in August so that takes both of them out for Wilder in the near future though either could emerge down the line as a future Wilder foe.


-Kid Blast :

Wilder's showing against Molina now makes him more compelling because fans think he may be overly vulnerable, but remember, he did send Molina into dreamland with a brutal, albeit late knockout. Time to fight someone who has a modicum of a chance like Tony T. Forget Briggs. Why should Wilder fight him--unless he can pocket a big payday?