America doesn’t want…
A boxer who is small
A fighter who doesn’t want to fight
A fighter who doesn’t want to knock out
A boxer who entertains
What America wants… a Heavyweight
Boxing has been on a downward slope for US fans since Tyson and Holyfield. There are a lot of reasons why, but I think central to the issue there hasn’t been a dominate American Heavyweight. It isn’t that great Heavyweight don’t exist, there have been plenty to cheer for. Lennox Lewis was as dominate as he was skilled. The reign of the Klitschko brothers is amazing. It seems like they could still come out of retirement and fight. The linch pin to American boxing is the Heavyweight. It always will be. We are hungry for KOs.
In the wake of fans disinterest for the sport, despite being filled with skilled small fighters (De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Hopkins, Mayweather, etc.) the UFC has slowly gobbled up fans and the younger generation. Additionally, the UFC has attracted a new fan base that boxing hasn’t been able to reach. Boxing is being overtaken by a more exciting and sport that delivers the KOs.
“I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge?’’
For U.S. boxing to reclaim its glory, it needs the raw Deontay Wilder to win out. Despite becoming the WBC Heavyweight champ in 2015 the general public has never heard of him. The 6’7″ boxer has an imposing reach (83″), years of experience (He took Bronze in the 2008 Olympics), and an impressive record of 39-0 (38 KOs). And yet, he’s remained totally out of the spotlight. Unknown and unseen. It is a shame because he embodies so much of what an average viewer wants: big, a brawler, a finisher, brash, and entertaining. He checks all the boxes.
Recently Wilder called out the top Heavyweight Anthony Joshua (another boxer the average viewer has never heard of from the UK) saying,“I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge?’’ While Joshua is young, he has great potential. He’s a star in the sport. The fight will likely happen in 2018 which should inject a much needed buzz into the boxing world. After the Mayweather v McGregor spectacle, and even the earlier Mayweather/Pacquiao let down, boxing needs a legit Heavyweight fight. It is due.
I have my doubts about Wilder. While he can smell blood in the water, his technic doesn’t hold together in those moments and becomes undisciplined. Additionally, he is 32 years old and for him to take the boxing sport by storm it should have started raining a few years ago. He cannot afford to lose a fight against Joshua. A loss could set him back significantly, while a win could be launch him into the limelight; and the start of a resurgence to the sport.
If only Joshua was American…