It’s quite amazing how a string of knockouts, some of them scored over pretty average at best opposition, can get people talking. Big. About potential greatness. About how the man who scored them may or may not be worthy of being compared to the proven (over the test of time) greats that came before him.
This is where we are at right now with Deontay Wilder. Fresh off his quick KO of a fully accommodating Dominic Breazeale who, despite being tough, offered a veritable sitting duck of a target for the reigning and defending WBC champ’s killer right hand, Wilder has got people talking; industry people and fans alike. And these people are asking questions: how does Wilder rank with the heavyweight power-punchers of the past?
Is it even right that this particular question is being asked? Is it not an affront to the majestic punchers, the lethal bombers of yesteryear that Wilder’s name is being placed alongside theirs for the purpose of comparison? Heavyweight giants such as Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Mike Tyson. It’s crazy that people are even suggesting Wilder deserves entry into such an exhaulted club of fighting men, right?
Or is it?
These people are not, as they have made clear, comparing Wilder to these all-time greats on all levels, they are not saying his overall talents rank with theirs. But what they are saying is Wilder’s withering punching power is worthy of being compared to the punching power those greats had. And with 40 KO’s scored, Wilder has shown incredible power, of that there is no doubt. On top of that, Wilder holds the quite impressive distinction of having either knocked out, stopped or knocked down EVERY single man he has ever stepped into the ring with.
Regardless of quality of opposition – and Wilder has been in with some good guys, some very good guys, and maybe even one great opponent – that sure takes some doing. And of course, Wilder isn’t done yet – far from it. If Wilder takes on and defeats Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury in a return fight, and then one or two other guys, then retires unbeaten at, say, 45-0-1; perhaps we might be able to talk greatness and compare Wilder with the immortals listed above.
And who’s to say Wilder can’t do it. But right now, doing such a thing is surely jumping the gun. We must give Wilder time and see how his career finishes up first. He is a special puncher, the hardest-hitting big man around today. But is Wilder really THAT special?