SAN DIEGO, January 16, 2016 – In a dramatic turn of events nine rounds into a competitive bout, Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 34 KOs) demonstrated his legitimate, dangerous punching power with a lights out knockout of Polish challenger Artur Szpilka at 2:24 of the ninth round, an instant “Knockout of the Year” nominee.
Up to the point of the stoppage, Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs) had put up a good effort, showing plenty of movement and good footwork, forcing Wilder to struggle to find the right distance in the early rounds. As the fight went on, the pair traded some punches. Szpilka ate several hard right hands but showed he’s got a good chin. Wilder was vulnerable to the southpaw Szpilka’s jabs and left hooks to the body, but there had been no serious damage. On the scorecards, the judges had a close one for Wilder, 77-75 and 78-74, 78-74.
The cards became irrelevant the moment Szpilka started to throw a left hook, Wilder countered with the lead left jab in response, followed by a perfectly placed right to the chin. Szpilka was out cold; a count was a mere courtesy. Ringside physicians and medical personnel immediately attended to Szpilka. He was sitting up and talking, but would be taken to nearby Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn to be checked out according to ringside physician Dr. Jeff Kaplan.
Wilder spoke to Szpilka, telling Showtime’s Jim Gray “I told him that he was a great contender. The Polish people have nothing to be sad about, he gave his all. Thank you, Artur Szpilka, for your competitiveness … I don’t want to hurt the next man so he can’t go back to his family. We risk out lives each and every time. He may be all right now, but we don’t know what’s going to happen in a few days. “ Wilder said Szpilka turned out to be “crafty” and had the partisan Polish fans in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on his side. “Like I say, he was more crafty and slick than we thought. It’s boxing, we’ve got 12 rounds. They all can’t be pretty,” laughed Wilder.
Sitting ringside taking in the show was British heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Wilder barely made his statement before Fury burst into the ring, and had a few words with Wilder.
“There’s only one… Tyson Fury! What do you got to say about that, Deontay? What do you got to say about that my man?” said Fury.
“We all know Fury, he’s just a phony, man,” replied Wilder. “This is just an act. You know who I am, you know what time, what place. I ain’t scared of nobody, I’ll come to your backyard baby for that my man, I promise you that.”
Fury and Wilder were nose to nose at this point. “Listen, any time, any place, any where, when you’re ready, when you’re ready, when you’re ready Bomb Squad,” said Fury. “Listen, any time, any place, anywhere, I’ll fight you in your back garden, like I done Klitschko, I’ll beat you, you bum, you’re a bum!”
Wilder said, “We already know this is just an act, baby, you’re not a real fighter … As you will see, baby. I don’t play this man. This is just an act that you’re doing. You should be an actor. But when we do step in this ring, this ain’t wrassling, this ain’t the WWE, baby. When you do step in this ring, with me, if you do, because this should have been done a long time ago. You could run around like a preacher and all that you want, but baby, this I promise you, when you step in the ring I will baptize you. I promise.”
Fury left the ring, and continued sounding off ringside, eventually being escorted out after getting in the face of former British super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
Wilder’s knockout left just the sort of impression he needed in the shifting heavyweight division. With Fury’s dance card filled by the Klitschko rematch, Wilder’s next fight could be against the likes of Alexander Povetkin. Recall that the Russian was named Wilder’s mandatory WBC challenger after his win last fall, but Wilder said Povetkin would need to wait until April or May. At the time Wilder said he’d really rather fight Fury than Povetkin, and after Saturday’s confrontation, the fans are eager to see it. Fury will be the one keeping Wilder waiting until his rematch with Klitschko.
In the undercard, American heavyweight Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) now holds a heavyweight title alongside Tyson Fury, thanks to a bizarre and disappointing result from his bout against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-1-1, 13 KOs). Glazkov was supposed to be the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury, but missed out when Wladimir Klitschko exercised his right to the immediate rematch. Glazkov will rue the day this happened. After a slow start where neither man distinguished himself, Glazkov threw a punch from a wide stance, and appeared to twist his right knee. He went down without any contact from Martin. Referee Earl Brown administered a count, but it was a formality as Glazkov couldn’t continue. Ringside physician Dr. Jeff Kaplan’s initial diagnosis was a torn ACL in the knee.
With that, Martin was declared a winner with a TKO at 1:50 of the third round. It was horribly disappointing for Glazkov, and even for Martin who said he still wanted to fight. Watching the replay, Martin said, “Hey… it’s boxing, you know, I don’t know. That was a football injury. I’m sorry for him, it’s unfortunate he couldn’t finish the fight.”But he’ll take the IBF title along with the opportunities and bigger paychecks it brings him.
Here we are in 2016, and Charles Martin and Tyson Fury are both heavyweight champions.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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