Boxing

Ring Walk: Deontay Wilder

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A draw followed up by a loss has always left Tyson Fury on the mind of one Deontay Wilder, Saturday he looks to cleanse his mind of the Lineal Heavyweight Champion and move on in his career. The building of a legacy that was started with an unprecedented knockout rate that could see a crossroads end with a win over a lineal champion while also getting his WBC belt back is something you normally see in movies.

The question is though which Rocky Balboa will Deontay Wilder be, the Rocky from the first fight against Clubber Lang or the rematch with Lang?

Ironically enough it is the story of Wilder and the career path that almost mirrors Rocky, specifically the Rocky III movie. Wilder gets knocked out by Fury in the last fight much like Rocky in his first fight against Lang in the movie only to follow it up by losing his trainer, Wilder fired his and went to the gym that made Apollo Creed. 

While that gym isn’t available for Deontay Wilder he did hire a former opponent, an opponent in Malik Scott who Wilder knocked out in a round. He is done with the yes men and is looking born again with a bigger frame and a renewed focus that he may need to put him over against the Gypsy King.

Before Wilder makes his ring walk though it’s important to understand the journey that brought him here, the journey that started at a Red Lobster and how he’s worked his way up to where he sits currently as one of the more devastating punchers in his generation. 

Let us take the ring walk with Deontay Wilder as we look back and forward to this Saturday.

Road to the Title

Wilder started his boxing career with a stellar amateur career that was highlighted by winning a Bronze Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic games which was the first heavyweight boxing medal for the United States since Nate Jones in 1996. Wilder used the momentum coming out of the Beijing games to turn professional, in his first ten professional fights he would only compete in 14 combined rounds as he demonstrated early on an insanely natural knockout ability.

His frame of six foot seven and reach of 83 inches made him a rather tough puzzle to solve even for the heavyweight ranks. Time and time again he would be scoring first-round knockouts against opponents which led him to have a tough time finding challenging opponents. The toughest before his first title shot on paper is ironically Malik Scott who as we mentioned is now his trainer.

All in all, he would have to start his career 32-0 with an astounding 32 knockouts before getting his first title shot against the WBC champion Bermaine Stiverne who had won the title from Chris Arreola in the fight before matching up with Wilder. In the matchup with Stiverne, Wilder would demonstrate arguably his most tame approach to boxing in his entire career. 

No crazy lunging shots, no leaping punches, and no knockdowns either but what he did end up grabbing is the WBC title belt from Stiverne in a dominant unanimous decision in what would be the first time Wilder needed to hear the judges scorecards. 

From there though, Wilder would go on another crazy run similar to what kickstarted his career but this time with some bigger names attached to wins and knockouts.

A Champion Comes Home and Goes on a Title Run

Deontay Wilder would return home to Alabama to defend his title in a state that didn’t have its own boxing commission until 2005 and would do so successfully four times against opponents like Gerald Washington, Eric Molina, and famous Klitschko brother foe, Chris Arreola.

Arreola would be the toughest of Wilder’s fights, mostly due to a torn bicep injury he fought through, but even then he was able to score a stoppage in round eight of that fight. His toughest test to date, which would end up being the prequel to Wilder-Fury 1, would be in the form of Cuban big man, Luis Ortiz.

Ortiz was like Wilder where so many opponents in the heavyweight division were running from him and avoiding him. When Ortiz signed the deal to fight Wilder he was an impressive 28-1 (1NC) and had 24 stoppages so for Wilder, this was, on paper the toughest fight for him and would answer a lot of questions. 

Wilder would have a tough go of things early against Ortiz but would earn a TKO win in round 10 after weathering a tough early storm. It proved to the doubter’s Wilder could weather the challenges of a sturdy, powerful opponent and it furthered the talk of which big-name heavyweight champions would cross the Atlantic to fight Wilder first.

The First of Three Meetings Takes Place in Los Angeles

The first matchup between these two historic giants would take place in Los Angeles as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury would meet in the Staples centre for a historic fight in a division full of them.

Wilder and Fury would have verbal sparring sessions before the fight and during the week of the fight but it was the action that took place once both men laced up the gloves and got in the ring. Both men would land meaningful shots against each other with Wilder’s power shots landing and making an impact. To ringside observers and fans watching along this was significant but it was the power shot he would land in round 12 that would shock everyone, but nearly as shocking as the result of it.

Tyson Fury would do what seemingly no man had done before, he sat up like the Undertaker at a Wrestlemania and continued the fight leaving Wilder in disbelief.

Wilder and Fury would battle to a split decision draw in the first fight and while both men wanted to run it back the money and terms just couldn’t be agreed upon so it meant boxing fans had to wait. 

Reminding the World of What He Is

Deontay Wilder would only have two fights before his rematch against Tyson Fury, both of which had storylines that needed to be handled and put to bed.

First up after his fight against Fury would be Dominic Breazeale who had issues with Wilder from outside the ring. Breazeale talked about it leading up to the fight that involved his wife and kids, in an altercation in the hotel lobby following an event where both men competed. Breazeale talked a big game heading into the fight and it brought emotion out of the both of them that no one had seen up to this point.

How did Wilder respond to it all? Well, see for yourself.

After dismantling Breazeale, Wilder would run things back with Luis Ortiz and this time it was a much easier bout for him scoring another vicious knockout and adding another notch to the belt while gearing up for the Fury rematch.

A Rematch That Brings Us To This Weekend

Deontay Wilder came into the fight confident as always with the impressive power he was able to demonstrate he was convinced if he hit Fury this time, he would stay down. 

Wilder though would make some calculated errors that all began with his ring walk attire. Wilder, always the showman, came out in a costume that he said weighed over 50 pounds and made his knees weak before the first bell had even rung.

Once in the ring, it was noticeable for the first time in his career that Wilder wasn’t himself and things would get serious for him quickly. By the third round, Wilder was visibly wobbly and had blood coming from his ear and Tyson Fury would capitalize.

Fury would absolutely batter Wilder on his way to the corner stopping the fight in the seventh round which is why we will see a new corner for Wilder this Saturday.

It’s that last knockdown and the early stoppage that has Wilder training like never has before, surrounding himself with people who will hold him accountable like never before, and it’s those reasons he has more confidence this time around than in any fight previously in his career.

Wilder can’t shake the ring attire though as he says he will have something special Saturday but will we have something special in the ring? We will find out soon enough.

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