With just six weeks to go before his scheduled January 16th, 2016 title defense, WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was concerned about not having an opponent yet. Well Wilder now has one in Polish heavyweight, Artur Szpilka.
Known for his come forward style of fighting, the 26-year old southpaw has racked up four consecutive victories since losing to heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings in January of 2014. One of those victories was a UD win against countryman and perennial gate keeper Tomasz Adamek in one of the biggest fights in Polish history. With a good Polish population around the Barclays and New Jersey, Szpilka was the best choice after Wilder’s original foe Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov abandoned their negotiations after an “easier route” to the heavyweight title presented itself.
Glazkov was the IBF’s mandatory challenger for newly crowned unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury but with Fury due for a rematch with Wladimir Klistschko, the IBF stripped Fury of the title and ordered Glazkov to fight Charles Martin for the vacated IBF heavyweight title.
No Credible Foe
The fight will be Wilder’s third title defense since winning the heavyweight title from Bermane Stiverne in January of 2014. He knocked out Eric Molina and Johann Dupaupas in his first two title defenses and is looking to add yet another KO victim to his impressive resume. Wilder is unbeaten in 35 bouts and has knocked out all but one of his former opponents. He is the last American boxer to win a medal in the Olympics, earning a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Games.
The problem with Wilder though is that he has been spoon fed with low quality foes,as PBC founder and Wilder advisor Al Haymon has preferred to slowly break him against good competition.Having said that, Szpilka may be the biggest opponent he has faced to date.
Who Takes This?
Wilder is a huge -1800 favorite versus Szpilka who opened at +800. While Szpilka also has an outstanding record of 20-1 with 15 KOs, Wilder is the bigger punches. With Spilka owning an aggressive offensive game, Wilder’s big right hand will be waiting to say good night. There is no doubt that Wilder not only has the bigger punch, he has a more complete game. But Szpilka’s motivation is to become the first Polish heavyweight champion in history and with a good Polish audience cheering him on, he does have the puncher’s chance to beat Wilder. Other than that, Wilder’s expected to take advantage of his aggression and win with another KO.