Editorials

What’s Next for Deontay Wilder?

Wilder vs. Stiverne - Art Hernandez (31) Small
Photo by Arturo Hernandez/RBRBoxing

Well, Saturday night went a little differently than some of us expected. Sure, Deontay Wilder seemed to be a fan favorite (and for good reason), but critics were too jumbled up with the black spots on his resume to cut him any slack.

Regardless, “The Bronze Bomber” retained his undefeated status and picked up the WBC Heavyweight title belt from Bermane Stiverne with a one-sided unanimous decision victory.

You now have our attention, Wilder.

But what’s next for the American champion? Now that he’s on a 33-fight winning streak and has fought someone that people care about, the days of fighting nameless potatoes should stay in the past.

One of the things that Wilder achieved last night was that he gained respect from everyone who doubted his skill range. The only way to keep that respect up is to continue to face better and better guys.

Wilder didn’t even have to work at this next part, fans are already calling out Wladimir Klitschko for him. But even that wasn’t necessary, since talk of Klitschko facing the winner of the Stiverne-Wilder fight was already happening last year.

Unfortunately, Klitschko set up a fight with Bryant Jennings for this spring (per Boxing Scene), so these two would have to wait till the second half of the year. No matter if it’s this fall or 2016, these guys are going to have to fight at some point.

Tyson Fury is another name that is quick to be put in line as a potential opponent for Wilder:. This could be because people were so impressed with his recent win against Dereck Chisora, or it could just be because the name is still fresh in their mind.

I like the idea of the two of them duking it out because of their similarities in height. Whether it’s for better or worse, Wilder uses his height as an extreme advantage towards his technical work.

Why bother slipping or putting your gloves (remotely) close to your face if the opponent can’t reach your chin in the first place? Fans of Wilder might actually get to see him pull some boxing moves with a guy like Fury.

Like Klitschko, Fury is already tied down with an appointment for the first quarter of the year, which is a bummer for Wilder since in his post-fight interview, he giddily jumped up and down and sang out that he would like to fight as much as he possibly can this next year.

So who’s open for the “Bronze Bomber” to fight this spring? Kubrat Pulev, for starters. Remember back in November when he got thoroughly beat up by Klitschko? So bad that he wound up in the hospital with a small concussion?

I think this is the appropriate time to bring up the “new year, new me” motto to Pulev. The concussion has healed by now, and it’s time to get back in the ring, man.

This would be a great fight for Wilder to end up with. A win against Pulev would only shove his name up on the ranks even further and away from his mediocre past even farther.

As long as Wilder keeps hanging out with the Big Dogs, and doesn’t return to fights that fatten up his record, he’ll continue to go far. If he keeps his word, 2015 could be a fantastic year for the heavyweights.

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