It seems as though reigning WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder has found his next challenger and ring return opponent. According to The Tuscaloosa Times, Wilder will return to action against Polish contender Andrzej Wawrzyk on February 25th in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder, inactive since his summer stoppage win over Chris Arreola, where “The Bronze Bomber” severely injured his biceps and his right hand, is anxious to get back in there and fight – but what kind of a fight can the once-beaten Wawrzyk give him? At 33-1(19) the 29-year-old has a nice enough record, but a closer look lets you get to the truth of the matter. Smashed by Alexander Povetkin (quite ironically as the Russian star was supposed to face Wilder in a big fight this past May) back in a WBA title challenge in May of 2013, Wawrzyk has no really notable wins on his record.
Since being demolished by Povetkin inside three rounds, Wawrzyk has reeled off six straight, over the likes of the faded Danny Williams, the almost as faded Frans Botha, and Albert Sosnowski. The stoppage win over Sosnowski was Wawrzyk’s most recent fight, taking place in September. Wawrzyk is not the worst world heavyweight title challenger, but he is far from the best.
The manner in which the man from Krakow fell apart against Povetkin puts this upcoming fight in context. Wilder, a quite brutal puncher, will almost certainly get a relatively easy and straightforward KO victory, his 38th in as many wins. Wilder was never going to return from such nasty injuries by facing a beast, and on paper Wawrzyk is at least somewhat credible.
Wilder wants a big 2017 and he may get it. Certainly, unless he somehow manages to pull off a monstrous upset, Wawrzyk will not put a dent in Wilder’s lofty plans. Wilder by KO inside four rounds.
Fans, though, are almost sure to be disappointed by Wilder’s choice of opponent for his fifth title defence, especially as unbeaten talent Hughie Fury was in the mix. Fury, who would have given Wilder a tougher test than Wawrzyk will do, was reportedly up for taking the shot.