Deontay Wilder’s Wilder and Wilder Ride

By Paul Magno on March 4, 2018
Deontay Wilder’s Wilder and Wilder Ride
His big right hand has been enough to get him to the top. (Amanda Wescott/SHOWTIME)

His style is less prime George Foreman and more drunken tranny in a White Castle parking lot brawl… 

Back a couple of years ago, this is what I had to say about Deontay Wilder and his place in boxing—and it still applies to the Wilder of 2018:

“To some, the 6′7″ “Bronze Bomber” is a laughingstock of a fraud whose every move is reviled and whose every flaw is marked as proof of his ultimate, absolute terribleness.

To others, Wilder is the savior of the heavyweight division and the harbinger of a restored American presence at the top of boxing’s heavyweight food chain.

To the realist with proper inoculation against the virus that is boxing hype, Wilder is what he is and he’s doing as well as can be expected against a proper level of opposition.”

The truth is that Deontay Wilder is an awful boxer whose skills have actually eroded since I wrote the above. Given his weight loss and the sloppiness of his recent form, one can safely assume that when he hits the gym these days, it’s all cardio and no boxing work. His style is less prime George Foreman and more drunken tranny in a White Castle parking lot brawl.

Forget footwork and defense, to not have, at the very least, a sharp, consistent jab—especially with his long arms and Mark Breland as a trainer—speaks of someone who could very well be untrainable. Everything about the “Bronze Bomber” screams of someone who has fully bought into his own hype—all he needs is the right hand and forget everything else. It doesn’t look like he’s even trying anything else anymore.

The other truth about Wilder, however, is that his big right hand HAS been enough to get him to the top and it’s enough, at least in this day and age, to get by. It’s hard to argue about how much better he could be with a stiff jab making way for a straighter, even stronger right hand when a looping bomb thrown from the back pocket has been enough to get him a world title and a 40-0 record.

And Saturday’s TKO win over Luis Ortiz at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn proved that Wilder has a big heart to go along with his big right hand.

The defending WBC champ was outboxed by the crafty Cuban for almost the entire bout, buzzed on a couple of occasions, but was ultimately able to pull it all together to close the show in the tenth. It wasn’t a pretty win and, to be honest, it served to showcase Wilder’s flaws as much as his one big strength, but he got by his best opponent to date and someone widely regarded as a top 3 heavyweight.

It shouldn’t be forgotten, also, that signing on to fight Ortiz right when an Anthony Joshua blockbuster was close to being realized, was a touch of matchmaking bravado that had many of us boxing people suspecting a fix. (And, to be fair, three judges’ scorecards in Wilder’s favor at the time of the stoppage and a convenient pause in the action at the beginning of round eight, after Wilder had been rocked at the end of the seventh, kind of supports the idea that something shady may have been in play.) Thankfully, Wilder ended the fight with his fists and wouldn’t have to rely on dubious scoring.

Now, Wilder moves on to a big money title unification bout with Anthony Joshua (assuming Joshua gets by Joseph Parker this March 31).

Flaws and all, the big American is moving forward and he’ll be coming into the biggest fight of his career as reliant upon one big punch as ever before in his prizefighting life. If anything, as he immerses himself further into his gimmick as the one-punch, fist-slinging bomber, Wilder might be even more of a one-tool fighter when he finally steps into the ring against Joshua.

Wilder is definitely not doing himself any favors by limiting his paths to victory and, against a big, strong, and athletic Joshua who IS developing a solid skill set as his career advances, leaving the UK with all four belts seems almost like a hopeless kamikaze mission.

But, then again, there were plenty of people out there insisting that his one big weapon would not be enough to beat Ortiz, either…

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  1. JamesSteele 04:51pm, 03/11/2018

    I’m a big fan of Wilder who has saved us from further embarrassment at not having a serious American contender for a long time. He showed incredible heart versus Ortiz but he owes a huge thank you to the ring doctor who gave him 18 seconds of extra recovery time (after the bell rang) for round 8. Now we’ll never know if a still very wobbly, weakened Wilder would have withstood a beginning of the round onslaught that Ortiz was robbed of.  I put a stopwatch on it. It was 18 seconds which allowed him to recover. Awful, but I’m glad Wilder won but Joshua (who was out on his feet too against Vlad) has incredible heart too. Bring on the mega fight we all want but when Ortiz looks at the tape of the 18 second delay he should automatically be granted first crack at the winner of the mega fight.

  2. joseph 08:26am, 03/11/2018

    When you’re a.freak, you’re a.freak all the way. Sung to the tune from Westside Story. If all you have is one dollar, that’s all you can spend. That’s Wilder. I do give him props for taking on Ortiz, but not so much for buying the judges, and the ref. Never underestimate those southern boys. I’m talking about the money behind him.

  3. doog 02:22pm, 03/05/2018

    Yup this article just about says it all. The fix was in but it wasnt needed. However, anyone notice how you couldnt even hear Ortiz entrance music. That’s also an indication that the cards are all stacked in one way. But then the rapper caught on camera lip-syncing was hysterical.

  4. Balaamsass 10:34am, 03/05/2018

    Physicality! Do you see the ridiculous shit going on at the NFL Combine or the Greek Freak in the NBA jumping clean over a 6’10” defender who got in his way in order to dunk! When you’re a freak you’re a a freak and that’s the way it is and always will be so….timing….distance….punch repertoire….ring IQ….ring generalship doesn’t mean shit when your antagonist with an 84” reach can slap the shit out of you from clean on the other side of the ring!

  5. Peter 09:48am, 03/05/2018

    The only reason Wilder won the fight is because Ottiz was totally exhausted. He stopped reacting to Wilders pushes with counter pushes. He was ready to be knocked out. Wilder is a fraud and I can’t see him standing up to Joshuas as his first reaction to an assault is to run to the ropes. We have enough frauds in the world. We don’t need one as heavyweight champion.

  6. Tudor Cristian 07:45am, 03/05/2018

    I think it was a fix.

  7. Tudor Cristian 07:44am, 03/05/2018

    I suspect it wouldn’t have been enough if a fix werren’ on.
    What do you think about this piece written at abou the same time with your last one?
    Also what do you think of Doug Fisher from The book of the Dead who wrote that the fight was “in the FOTY territory”

  8. Donald Grant 06:11am, 03/05/2018

    “His style is less prime George Foreman and more drunken tranny in a White Castle parking lot brawl.” LOL! And oh so true.

  9. Your Name 03:42am, 03/05/2018

    Now Joshua is more scared of The Bronze Bomber than ever.

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