Dominant Wilder targets third WBC title defence over Szpilka
Lee Gormley | January 14, 2016
Deontay Wilder v Artur Szpilka
- WBC world heavyweight title fight
- Sunday, January 17th
- Scheduled for: 02:00 GMT
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Wilder seeks third title defence over Szpilka
Dominant American Deontay Wilder is seeking a third successful defence of his WBC heavyweight crown when he collides with aggressive Pole Artur Szpilka this weekend in New York’s main event.
Reigning champion Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) and hard-hitting southpaw Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) almost came to blows during a heated exchange as the heavyweight pair met for their first stare-down ahead of the Brooklyn battle.
The defending title-holder holds an unblemished professional record as well as the division’s best ever knockout-to-fight ratio, having stopped 34 of his 35 opponents, and he is 9/4 with Coral to end Szpilka’s night early in rounds 1-3.
Champion Wilder sees Szpilka as “no threat”
Polish challenger Szpilka launched a barrage of verbal assaults towards the WBC champion during their recent confrontation before the two fighters had to be separated by their teams, with tensions running extremely high.
Although, the undefeated Wilder has dismissed his next opponent’s pedigree, declaring that he sees Szpilka, who is 9/1 for a stunning upset by knockout, as no real threat to his heavyweight strap at all.
“To be honest I respect all my fighters, I never look past no fighter, it takes a lot of heart and courage to get in a ring,” Wilder stated.
“I don’t feel no threat..”
“But when I think of Szpilka I don’t feel no threat, I don’t feel no pressure with him, I’m just looking forward to what I’m capable of doing.
“I’m the most athletic heavyweight in the division period, I’ve got the highest knockout ratio in the division, God gave me power, and I’m looking to perform, not only for my fans, not only for New York, but for his fans as well, the Polish community.
“There’s going to be a big variety of Polish community there and I’m looking forward to gaining fans and taking some of them home with me.”
Wilder wants further knockout outing
The unbeaten 30-year-old champion had won 32 successive bouts by stoppage within the opening four rounds until Haitian-Canadian Bermane Stiverne took him the distance last January. A hand injury hindered the rampant heavyweight further in his following contests, but he is now looking to get back to using his brute force to KO rivals.
“When people get dressed and come to see a heavyweight bout they want to see less skill, more power, they want to see a knockout at the end of the day,” stated Wilder.
“They want something that they can relate to back on that date or that fight, of what opponent he knocked out and how he did it, so I think that’s going to be very important for me.”
Having previously been taken over 12 rounds for the first time in his career, but winning in the end anyway, Wilder is 5/1 to earn a points decision again here, while Szpilka is 16/1 to gain the judges’ approval.
Fury fight on the horizon in 2016?
When questioned over a potential high-profile unification fight with Britain’s Tyson Fury this year, the Alabamian respectively refused to look beyond his latest challenger.
“The most focus is on this fight right here. If I don’t prevail and be victorious in this fight then there’s no talks,” declared Wilder.
“After that we can look forward to other things and I’m looking forward to 2016 in general, no matter what heavyweight in the division, my goal is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and I won’t stop until I accomplish that.”
With such huge career ambitions and his bout falling on the same night as David Haye’s awaited comeback, Wilder will seek another solid performance in the early hours of Sunday morning in order to claim the boxing headlines once again.
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