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:
In no particular order:
Deontay Wilder – 29-0(29).
Strengths: raw power, athleticism, speed.
Weaknesses: poor quality of opposition, can be wild and crude, lack of rounds, chin a huge question mark.
Next opponent: likely to be the winner of the Sept.6th Chris Arreola-Seth Mitchell fight.
Bryant Jennings – 17-0(9).
Strengths: speed, conditioning, athleticism, combination punching.
Weaknesses: size (just 6’2“), lack of one-punch KO power.
Next opponent: Possibly Tomasz Adamek.
Tony Thompson – 38-3(26).
Strengths: experience, durability, craftiness, jab.
Weaknesses: age (41), can be lazy, slow feet.
Next opponent: Kubrat Pulev.
Chris Arreola – 35-3(30)
Strengths: toughness, experience, heavy hands.
Weaknesses: excess weight in some fights, lack of defence, can be slow-footed.
Next opponent: Seth Mitchell
Amir Mansour – 18-0(14)
Strengths: conditioning, speed, one-punch power, physical strength.
Weaknesses: age (41), inactivity (just four fights in last two years), size (just 5’11”)
Next opponent: Maurice Harris.
Seth Mitchell – 26-1(19).
Strengths: power, heart.
Weaknesses: suspect chin, lack of defence, limited experience.
Next opponent: Chris Arreola.
Malik Scott – 35-1-1(12).
Strengths: athleticism, speed, conditioning.
Weaknesses, lack of power, suspect heart and desire, lack of notable name opponents.
Next opponent: ? Maybe a return with Dereck Chisora.
Johnathon Banks – 29-2-1(19).
Strengths: experience (lots of sparring with Klitschko), chin, deceptive power.
Weaknesses: can be notoriously lazy, conditioning.
Next opponent: ? Nothing on the radar after dismal effort in rematch with Seth Mitchell.
This writer’s pick for the best of the bunch/most likely to win a major title: Deontay Wilder.