A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Deontay Wilder steps his game up
|2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Deontay Wilder of Mobile, Alabama is young, undefeated, and won each of his professional 27 contests by knockout.Wilder (27-0, 27 KOs), who has a ton of experience training with the Klitschko brothers, will fight Britain’s 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Audley Harrison (31-6, 23 KOs). The bout will commence on Saturday, April 27, at Motorpoint Arena as the co-featured attraction to Amir Khan’s homecoming against Julio Diaz.
“There’s nothing like the day before, the morning of and night after you’ve claimed VICTORY,” said Wilder. “The emotion, the excitement and adrenaline rush that I have is ready to explode out of me. I’m a starving lion that’s ready to eat. On April 27 in Sheffield, England my next meal will be served; on the menu: Audley Harrison…Bon appetite. For the many fans in England, Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder is coming. You’ve been waiting for this moment and now it’s here. I can’t wait to show you guys why I am the light and the way for this dark division.”
Wilder has come a long way as a professional having very limited amateur experience. Wilder began boxing at age in October 2005 and in 2007 with only 14 amateur bouts, Wilder shockingly won the National Golden Gloves and U.S. National Championships at 201 pounds prior to winning the U.S. Olympic Trials and winning at the 2007 World Championships to represent the United States at the Beijing Olympics.
Since his professional debut in November 2008, Wilder has a 100% career-knockout percentage that includes 15 first round stoppages. However, the only recognizable name on his record is Owen Beck, a former world title challenger back in 2006.
“Deontay is a fast, dangerous puncher, but he has not been tested as a pro,” said Harrison. “I have lot of respect for him, so it’s not personal, but this is the door I must walk through. Lose and it’s over, win and I’m in the top ten for sure, eligible to challenge for the world title. Biggest risk, for the biggest reward. It can’t get any better than that.”
Harrison, a once-highly touted Olympic gold medalist, has proven to be a huge bust. Harrison has been embarrassment to the extent his ex-promoter Frank Maloney was running his mouth about him to the British tabloids.
Harrison’s shocking losses to under achieving Danny Williams, Dominick Guinn, Michael Sprott, and Martin Rogan really ruined his once-hyped career.
Harrison did fight for a world title, but was obliterated in three rounds by WBA heavyweight champion David Haye in November 2010.
In 2012, Harrison was wiped down to the canvas by David Price and in 2013, expect Wilder to knock Harrison out quickly in his very own hometown.
In addition to Wilder vs. Harrison, ‘The Return of the King: Khan vs. Diaz” undercard is stacked with other terrific fights:
Former unified IBF/WBA and WBO lightweight champion Nate Campbell (36-10-1, 26 KOs) will continue to live-up to his name as ‘The Galaxxy Warrior’ when he battles Terry ‘Turbo’ Flannigan (19-0, 5 KOs) of Manchester, England.
Campbell has been fighting internationally for his last 5 bouts: Russia (twice), Dominican Republic, Poland, and Canada. Campbell, winless in 6 of his last 9 fights, is 41 years of age and plans on making his business trip to England one to remember.
“It’s a great honor to be fighting in England,” said Campbell. “I’m in great shape and looking forward to returning to the lightweight division and this fight will serve notice as to how serious I am.”
Flannigan understands that although he is being showcased internationally in a marketing attempt for a demand to see him in bigger fights, Nate Campbell shouldn’t be underestimated.
When Julio Diaz defended his unified WBA/IBF and WBO lightweight titles in Mexico against Campbell, everyone thought it was going to be an easy fight for Diaz. Instead, Campbell tooik Diaz to school and flew back to the United States as a unified world champion.
“I’m looking forward to showcasing my talents against a former world champion in Nate Campbell,” said Flannigan. “This is the type of fight I have been waiting for and I’m ready to move up to the next level and prove that I belong there. It’s going to be tough, but come the end of the fight, I have no doubt it will be my hand that is raised.”
Recently-signed Golden Boy Promotions prospect and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Anthony Ogogo will make is professional debut. Kieron Gray (5-13-1, 1 KO) has been called upon to lose miserably.
Also, Gary Sykes (23-2, 5 KOs) battles Jon Kays (16-2-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super-featherweight bout. Adrian Gonzalez (6-1) of Manchester fights Marc Callaghan (19-32-1, 4 KOS) in a six-round welterweight mismatch.Unbeaten Jack Catterral (30-, 2 KOs) meets Marc McKray (4-18-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round welterweight bout. Tomasz Mazurkiewicz (5-8-2, 1 KO) and Adam Jones will meet in a four-round junior middleweight tilt. Lastly, unbeaten Carl Spencer (20-, 2 KOs) will be showcased in four-round heavyweight bout.
Tickets priced at £300, £200, £125, £75 and £50 plus applicable taxes and service charges are on sale at the Motorpoint Arena box office, by calling (+44) 0114 256 5656, online at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or through Sports Corporation by calling 0845 163 0845 or at www.sportscorporation.com.
Fans in the United Kingdom can watch “The Return of the King: Khan vs. Diaz” live on BoxNation (Sky Channel 437 or Virgin Channel 546) on Saturday April 27. To subscribe visit www.boxnation.com. SHOWTIME will air Khan vs. Diaz in the United States.