Deontay Wilder “Built Up Into A Monster,” And “Nowhere Near” Hardest-Hitter Ever, Says Bellew

By James Slater - 03/21/2024 - Comments

You may not always agree with former WBC cruiserweight champ turned pundit Tony Bellew. Far from it, in fact. But “Bomber” has had some very interesting things to say about Deontay Wilder, or rather about Wilder’s overall greatness as a puncher. We may have a short memory at times, but it wasn’t too long ago when “The Bronze Bomber” was being referred to as one of, if not THE hardest-hitting heavyweights of all time.

Less and less people will find themselves agreeing with such talk now, and all things Wilder have gone pretty quite as of late any case; this after Wilder’s terrible showing against Joseph Parker. For sure, Wilder’s power was lacking, in fact not even remotely on display, in that fight.

Now, speaking with Spin Bet, Bellew says it’s crazy to have ever ranked Wilder up there with heavyweight power-punchers such as George Foreman and Mike Tyson. “Who has Wilder knocked out?” Bellew asks.

“Who has Deontay Wilder actually knocked out? Who is the best name on Deontay Wilder’s record – a 50 year old Luis Ortiz?” Bellew said. “I mean what is the best KO he has and who has he actually knocked out? In the grand scheme of things, he hasn’t beat anyone. You [the boxing media] have built up a monster in Deontay Wilder and labelled him as the biggest puncher in history but don’t be so ridiculous.

“George Foreman took Joe Frazier off his feet and lifted him off the floor, he hit him so hard. Then he knocked out Ken Norton and the names he has beaten is just phenomenal, it’s frightening it really is. To have Deontay Wilder anywhere near Mike Tyson is insane. Mike Tyson knocked out Larry Holmes, who might have been past his best, but then he knocked out a prime Michael Spinks who defeated a prime Larry Holmes.”

Again, interesting stuff from Bellew, even if he may have made the odd mistake here – Holmes of course was past his peak even when he lost to Spinks in 1985. Still as Bellew says “you can’t get away from the names and resumes of these fighters (Foreman and Tyson in particular).” And Wilder just does not have such elite names on his record, aside from, you may argue, Tyson Fury, who of course defeated Wilder 2 out of 3 (or all three times but unofficially if you prefer).

Wilder at one time looked like a genuinely great puncher, but against a level of opposition far below that which Tyson and Foreman competed and won by KO. Wilder against a great would have been interesting, Dream Fight stuff here, but Bellew puts up a great argument when he says Wilder’s resume can boast only wins over “a few contenders at best.”

What do YOU think? Is Bellew right, or do the admittedly frightening KO’s Wilder scored over men like Artur Szpilka, Ortiz (a one-punch KO in the rematch), Serhei Liakhovich (a real limb-twitching KO), Dominic Breazeale, Robert Helenius, and one or two others earn him a spot amongst the most notable heavyweight punchers ever?