Despite owning a title shot against WBC Heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne, #8 ranked contender Deontay Wilder is fighting fellow American Jason Gavern in a tune-up fight this Saturday in the undercard of the Kell Brook-Shawn Porter showdown at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.

Taking a Risk

In a fight that he considers a “stay busy” fight, Wilder (31-0 with 31 knockouts) is in fact risking his opportunity to fight for Stiverne’s belt early next year. Although Jason Gavern (25-16-4 with 11 knockouts) is unranked and is not considered a serious threat to Wilder, the 37 year old Virginia native is an experienced fighter who has fought but lost to big name opponents like Oleg Maskaev, Steve Cunningham, Mariusz Wach and Denis Boytsov.

Wilder acknowledges the risk and admits that he isn’t taking Gavern lightly. He adds that while he is looking forward to fighting Stiverne for the title, he is focused on his fight against Gavern.

Knockout Artist

Wilder hasn’t faced a serious opponent in his young career and Gavern may be better than most of the foes he’s knocked out. The former 2008 Olympic super heavyweight bronze medalist has never gone past the fourth round in his pro career. He also has knocked out 18 opponents in the first round. In his last bout last March, Wilder knocked out Malik Scott in round one.

Although the WBC has ordered a fight between Stiverne and Wilder before the end of the year, the champion is nursing an injured hand and it is unclear when the fight will be scheduled. So instead of waiting for Stiverne, Wilder has decided to keep himself busy by taking this fight.

Fighting Bums

Wilder is unbeaten in 31 fights but he has been criticized for fighting journeymen and unranked fighters. The latest to cast the stone on him is former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs who recently called him “Beyonce Wilder”in an interview with On the Ropes Boxing Radio. The 45 year old Briggs also said that Wilder has been “fighting bums” and would be an “easy fight” for him. Briggs has been in the news lately for stalking unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and demanding a title shot.

Fighting Gavern will not do Wilder’s career and reputation any good, although he is correct in saying that it will keep him busy. But he’s got guts in taking a risky fight although barring any major accident, Wilder should come out of Saturday unscathed.

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