With the news over the festive period that Deontay Wilder’s return to boxing has become apparent, it has not been met with a lot of credit due to the opponent he will be facing in Polish fighter Andrzej Wawrzyk.
We last saw the WBC Heavyweight champion against Chris Arreola when Wilder broke him down and tore him apart with basically his left hand. Wilder suffered a broken right hand and also suffered a torn bicep in the fight and has been inactive since.
Wilder holds an impressive record of 37-0-0 (36ko’s) with Bermane Stiverne being the only man to ever go the full twelve rounds against the bronze bomber. Due to this resume and also being the WBC champ, people’s expectations of who he should be fighting go far beyond the opponents he has already faced.
Wawrzyk also has an impressive record with a 33-1 strong domestic resume behind him, but suffered his first professional loss at the hands of Alexander Povetkin, being knocked out in three rounds against one of the current Heavyweight top handful of fighters.
The odds are not in the Polishmans favour with Wilder entering the fight a bookies favourite at 1/100 which is almost a signed, sealed and delivered bet in most people’s eyes. Also on the undercard of this fight we see another Polish Heavyweight return to face one of Anthony Joshua’s recent opponents.
The chief support on the night will see Dominic Breazeale 17-1 (15ko’s) take on former Polish Heavyweight champion and world title challenger Artur Szpilka, who we haven’t seen in action since suffering a devastating knockout blow at the hands of Deontay Wilder.
When UK fans saw Breazeale’s debut on home soil this didn’t leave a great taste in the mouth. You can credit the amount of time he stood in the ring taking a beating, but his boxing ability was no match for the IBF champion and it showed as come round seven, the fight was over.
In Szpilka’s unlucky attempt of winning a world title, he was certainly causing huge problems for Wilder, forcing the champion to execute a very precise game plan and in turn he never really seemed to find his feet.
Wilder was always going to come through successfully somehow as he always finds a way, but if it wasn’t for the 9th round knockout I could really see Szpilka causing some issues for the bronze bomber.
Szpilka will enter the fight against Breazeale with a record of 20-2 (15ko’s) and its certainly a fun fight for the fans to watch. It may not be technically exciting but we can expect to see a couple of bombs being thrown.
Wilder has voiced his desire to unify the very exciting heavyweight division next year and there are some big matches involved for a couple of men. With names like Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz in the mix, there is potential for a cracking year in the division.
You still can’t help but question what Wilder is going to learn in his fight come February 25th, but I suppose an upset is never impossible.