It’s crazy to think that one punch can absolutely revitalize a division, but it really did. Let me explain.
It has been over ten years since the heavyweight division in boxing was considered to be an exciting one. The major focus in boxing has been towards lighter weights, those being the ones that stars like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Miguel Cotto had reigned supreme in.
It’s not because the skill in the heavyweight division wasn’t there, it's just that we have been lulled to sleep by the smooth and somewhat cautious boxing style of the longtime champion, Wladimir Klitschko. As beautiful and technical it is, it didn’t make the die-hard fan want to dish out sixty dollars to watch a jab-filled fight, that is most likely going to be a landslide decision for the Ukrainian. But since he was recently dominated by the outspoken and undefeated Irishman Tyson Fury, the heavyweight division now looks to be immediately more exciting for the fans.
Take a look at one of the early nominees for “Knockout Of The Year”, please ignore the counting by the referee, as it was clearly unnecessary.
This past weekend we were given even more to be excited about. Showtime Boxing showcased the Heavyweight division in Brooklyn at the Barclay’s Center with two of the alphabet titles (IBF and WBC) being up for grabs. The first was a vacant title fight between both undefeated Vyacheslav Glazjov and Charles Martin, a fight that ended in an unexpected fashion. In the third round of a fight that looked to have fireworks written all over it, Glazjov blew his knee out avoiding a punch, rendering Glazjov unable to continue, and Charles Martin the new IBF Heavyweight Champion. This was the kind of fight that after watching, most fans would beg to see Wladimir Klitschko's boring style again.
But the fighter that saved the show and brought the spark back to the division was undefeated WBC Champion Deontay Wilder. If you don’t know who Deontay Wilder is, please Google him after this, as he is a physical specimen. But what really brings out the fans for Deontay’s fights, is that he actually finishes fights, thirty-four of thirty-five to be exact.
Wilder put his belt on the line against the hard-hitting and elusive Artur Szpilka in an extremely competitive fight where both fighters showed off their punching power, as well as their durable chins. This fight would show some signs of greatness here and there, but it was not until the 9th round where we saw something special. As Szpilka went to throw a left hook, Deontay Wilder fired out a right hard that rendered Szpilka unconscious on impact, sending him to the canvas for a quick nap.
As an added bonus, check out the face to face meeting between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury after the bout. This win for Wilder now sets up a possible unification fight between the two. Can you say the heavyweight division is exciting again? I sure can.
The heavyweight division is exciting again.