Deontay Wilder: Send in the Clowns
On the undercard of Saturday’s title fight between Danny Garcia and Mauricio Herrera, Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs), the heavyweight with the heavy hands from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, looks to KO another victim when he gets it on with Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KOs), hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, in a WBC title eliminator.
Scott is more noteworthy than Wilder’s last opponent, Nicolai Firtha, and presumably he’s not damaged goods like Siarhei Liakhovich and Audley Harrison, but in his one attempt for a minor title he was TKO’d by rough-and-tumble Dereck Chisora. Scott may not, therefore, be a top drawer contender, but he’s in the mix despite his lack of power.
This bout is the next logical step for the seemingly inevitable coronation of Deontay Wilder. He needs to fight the winner of Chris Arreola vs. Bermane Stiverne, one of whom will take the place of a politician named Vitali Klitschko. It would also be nice of he were to fight Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury.
But great things are expected of Wilder, even though great things have eluded him thus far.
There’s some truth to the argument that Wilder has been brought along slowly because of his brief amateur career. But he has been a pro for four years, and on-the-job training aside, he still needs to step it up. Perhaps Saturday’s fight against Scott is the step up fight everyone wants; but then again, perhaps not.
Wilder appears to walk the walk, but there’s no question he talks the talk. Rather than focus on Malik Scott (“I’m not looking past Malik, but I’m definitely looking through him”), which perhaps tells us all we need to know, Wilder is taking potshots at his opponents across the pond, the eminently potshot-able Chisora and Fury.
“Chisora is just a one-trick pony,” says Wilder. “He’s got that one trick in his bag, and that’s just to pressure and to come with that overhand right.”
Fury, who is also big, who is also undefeated, who is also expected, despite his previous performances, to one day be king of the hill, gets the same treatment.
“You know,” Wilder says of Fury, “he’s a sorry excuse for a heavyweight, man. All he wants to do is talk, talk, talk.
“I mean, he thinks that if he talks a good game that will bring excitement to people and stuff like that. But people don’t want to see a person just talk, talk, talk, they also want to see some action too.
“If you’re not showing the action behind it, people are not going to believe you anymore. They’re just going to assume that you’re just a clown of the sport.
“He’s just a big mascot and people now they’re not laughing with him, they’re laughing at him.”
The same could be said of Wilder, but I’m not big enough or undefeated enough to be the one to say it.