Which fighter has the best chance of bringing at least a slice of the heavyweight title back to America, the country that once all but owned the belts for decade after decade?
Last night, in utterly destroying the rusty yet experienced Serhei Liakhovich in one chilling round with one chilling right hand (if the former WBO champ’s face didn’t tell the story, his quivering limbs sure did!), unbeaten 27-year-old Deontay Wilder made some people believe in him and his title hopes a little more.
Wilder, 29-0(29) isn’t the finished article yet but his punching ability certainly is noteworthy. But is Wilder the best American heavyweight out there today?
Here are the best US big men on the scene right now:
By Jeff Sorby: A fight between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO’s) and unbeaten American #3 IBF Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KO’s) is possible for May 4th, according to Sports Illustrated. The Klitschko-Jennings fight hinges interest from one of the two U.S cable giants HBO or Showtime.
HBO is reportedly interested in televising the fight. However, if they choose not to televise the fight to the U.S boxing fans, then Wladimir will then go ahead and face unbeaten Italian heavyweight contender Francesco Pianeta. That fight would still likely be shown in the U.S, albeit on EPIX instead of HBO or Showtime.
By James Slater, pohoto by Tom Casino/Showtime – Astonishingly, America has not been able to lay claim to even a portion of the heavyweight championship of the world for over half a decade. For not since Shannon Briggs lost his WBO title to Sultan Ibragimov in early 2007 has America – once the superpower of heavyweight boxing – held a major crown in the sport’s one-time glamour weight class.
Today, at the end of what has been an eventful 2012 for the young guns that might, just might be able to regain the prestigious championship, there are a handful of talented, hard working big men who, both individually and as a group of contenders, aim to bring the titles back home. At one point, for a good year or so, former linebacker turned heavyweight contender Seth Mitchell was looked at as the top dog, yet this young heavyweight was recently blasted out inside a couple of wild rounds by experienced Klitschko sparring partner and former cruiserweight title challenger Johnathon Banks.
Mitchell and Banks will meet again in February, but most good judges feel former Emanuel Steward-coached Banks, no slouch of a fighter, will repeat the win. But as dangerous and as durable as Banks is (unbeaten as a heavy, beaten just once as a cruiser), the former Kronk pupil will not be the man to end the reign of the mighty Klitschkos. Banks has more or less said he will not even try to land a fight with either sibling; so close to them is he (even adopting the role of head trainer for Wladimir, since the sad passing of Steward). Banks prefers a shot at “regular” WBA boss Alexander Povetkin. If he can topple the unbeaten Russian, Banks will no doubt get a hero’s welcome in the U.S, even if he will only have won a dubious at best version of the world title (everyone knows Wladimir is the REAL WBA champ).
So which of the other young (or youngish) and unbeaten (or close to it) U.S heavies are worth investing hope on when it comes to achieving world domination?
By Jeff Sorby: Undefeated heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (26-0, 26 KO’s) wants to fight undefeated heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KO’s) next after Wilder defeated previously unbeaten Kevlin Price (13-1, 6 KO’s) by a 3rd round knockout on Saturday night at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. Wilder knocked Price out with a monster right hand in the 3rd round to get the knockout win.
After the fight Wilder said this as quoted by RingTV “I want to be back in the ring as soon as possible, and I definitely want Bryant Jennings. I want him…the fans want it. There can only be one of us.”
That would be a good fight but also a potentially difficult one for Wilder right now because he would absolutely have to knock Jennings out in order to win the fight because Jennings’ style is more suited to winning a decision Wilder’s fight style. Jennings throws a lot of punches, has a great jab, and has decent but not great power.