American prospects Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs) and Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KOs) will square off in this superb “must win” for both competing fighters, which is scheduled to be televised in the opening bout of the Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast with a start time of 9PM EST/PST.
The highly anticipated showdown will take place at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and is scheduled for twelve rounds.
Although the explosive favorite from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, ostensibly has everything fight fans look for in a potential Heavyweight Champion, the 28 year old former Olympian has never been tested as a professional and has only been taken past the third round three times.
While most ringside experts view Malik Scott as Wilder’s toughest test to date, many question whether or not the Philadelphia native has the power to command the respect of the athletically gifted 6’7” puncher. Despite having a deeper amateur pedigree than the powerful Bronze medalist, many boxing pundits aren’t sure if Scott is capable of winning at the elite level.
Under the tutelage of veteran trainer Joe Goossen, Malik Scott believes that he has what it takes to hand the undefeated prospect his first professional loss.
Deontay Wilder has a beautiful telephone pole jab that sets up a punishing left hook and straight right hand. His footwork is the foundation of his defense and he seldom looks to counter his opposition. Whenever an opponent elects to let his hands go and mounts an offensive attack, Wilder usually uses his feet and maneuvers out of punching range. As soon as his opponents stop punching, the tall, rangy fighter will move back into range and begin to use his jab once again.
Expect Malik Scott to test Wilder’s mobility in this fight and his ability to punch while moving about the ring.
Scott is one of the few Heavyweight fighters who can box effectively while moving in and out of range sporadically. Look for Malik to use effective lateral movement in the early to mid rounds while attempting to establish his own jab, mixing the touch jab with plenty of feints and stiff left hands.
Don’t expect to see the 33 year old Philly native to open up until he takes Wilder into the back half of the fight.
Although this fight may have more than a few lulls in action, the Heavyweight scrap should answer several questions surrounding both fighters.
Can Deontay Wilder take a punch? Does he have the endurance to fight all twelve rounds of a prizefight? Can Wilder let his hands go when facing a mobile and athletic Heavyweight? Is Malik Scott a legitimate contender in the Heavyweight division, or is he just an opponent for the best fighters in the weight class?
In the theater of the unexpected, anything can and often does happen. That’s why they fight the fights, and it’s ultimately why we watch.