Wednesday, 25 May 2016

WBC give Wilder the green light to make a voluntary.

WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder should have had the chance to prove his critics wrong last Saturday against tough ex champion and number one mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in Russia, yet just over two weeks ago the bombshell that put a halt to one of the most eagerly awaited heavyweight title fights in years dropped heavily.. Povetkin had failed VADA's drug test for the substance Meldonium..  Following the bombshell amidst the denials and accusations, the fight was inevitably postponed, then according to Wilders people cancelled...  Deontay and his team based in Sheffield England, flew home soon after..  So now where do we stand?   Deontay was really in dire need of a defining victory and the Povetkin match was the ideal opportunity to voice a statement..   Public opinion on Wilder since becoming champion has been brutally unsympathetic, the first choice of opponent for a defence in 2015 caused a few raised eyebrows.. Eric Molina was a no risk choice, he'd lost in a single round to Chris Arreola and looked on paper to pose zero chance of threat..  Then came the relatively unknown Frenchman Johan Duhauppas, who actually came to fight on the NBC televised show, raising a mouse under the eye of the champion before being stopped after a gallant showing..   The third defence saw Wilder struggle to nail elusive Artur Szpilka down, missing wildly and looking alarmingly open to counter punches from the comparatively smaller pole, however as advertised, Wilder pulled out the knockout leaving a hapless Szpilka out cold for several worrying minutes, proving very little we didn't already know..  Opponents that on paper shouldn't have honestly been challenging, left us still speculative about how the champion would fare with one of the divisions more threatening adversary's. Defence number 4 should have satisfied that void, but Povetkins failings left the WBC champion out on a limb..  Until today.
The WBC issued a statement today, offering Wilder the grace of another voluntary defence in the light of his recent dissapointment.  So who could Wilder possibly choose?
First shots fired were from Bermaine Stiverne, the former WBC champion who lost his belt to Wilder in 2015 in a fight where he claimed to have been chronically dehydrated, Stiverne commented on social media "what comes after #1 Deontay.??  Me, I'm #2 ranked"  followed by #WilderStiverne2.   Bermaine did happen to extend Deontay in his losing effort in what still remains Wilders only 12 round trip in 36 outings..  Luis Ortiz look to be the opponent of Public demand, the WBA interim holder looks like too much of a risk at this point and could be well worth saving for a bigger payday down the line..  Andy Ruiz is a distinct possibility, unbeaten with a deceptive less than athletic appearance, he could bring to the table exactly what they require..    Interesting that both former Wilder opponents Eric Molina and Johan Duhauppas both recently recharged their careers with impressive bounce back upset wins over ranked opposition..  Molina travelled overseas to pull off a late come from behind knockout of Tomasz Adameck while Duhauppas scored a dramatic knockout of hugely respected Robert Helenius, both rematch possibilities considering the situation..  Regardless, Wilders people will no doubt reveal all in a day or two, but from previous form I'm not expecting miracles..  I think Deontay is capable of beating anyone on his day, but without demanding fights and challenging opposition it's hard to imagine Wilder improving as a champion..   It's just a great shame that Alexander Povetkin deprived Wilder and us of a meaningful heavyweight duel.