A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
History awaits Wilder
Deontay Wilder excited about having an opportunity to make history in his native Alabama this Saturday.
“It’s a privilege to make history with the first world title fight in Alabama,” Wilder told a group of reporters earlier this week. “I’ve been about making history my entire career since the amateurs.”
In January, Wilder made history by becoming the first American to win a world heavyweight title since 2007 when he out-fought Bermane Stiverne through twelve rounds. Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs), in the first world heavyweight championship fight in the state of Alabama’s 196 year-history, makes the first defense of the WBC title against Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) of Lyford, TX.
SHOWTIME will televise the bout, along with the vacant IBF jr. lightweight title fight between unbeaten Jose Pedraza (19-0, 12 KOs) of Puerto Rico against Andrey Klimov (19-1, 9 KOs) of Russia live from the Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder proved a lot of his doubters wrong earlier this year. Wilder, who never fought past the fourth-round in any of his previous professional bouts, looked very good in out-boxing the more experienced Stiverne. Wilder’s strong left jabs and solid right-crosses were too much for Haiti’s first world heavyweight champion. Wilder, who boats a near-perfect 97% career-knockout percentage, was satisfied with his performance against Stiverne even though he didn’t win by knockout.
Wilder wants to continue to work hard and continue to win for as long as he can.
“Everybody knows that Deontay Wilder gets the job done,” Wilder said. “I worked too hard to get here to just give up the belt. I want all the belts, I’m greedy like that.”
Before Wilder can fantasize about a fight with unified IBF/WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, his attention is geared toward his challenger, Molina. He will prove to be a most dangerous title challenger, as he envisions himself beating Wilder the same way Oliver McCall upset Lennox Lewis for the WBC title in September 1994.
“I’ve had Oliver McCall in my camp for four years, and he’s prepped me for my moment to shock the world, just like he did against Lennox Lewis,” Molina said. “I’ve dreamed about that moment, I’ve thought about it since even before I got this fight. I was going to knock someone out and become heavyweight champion of the world. It seemed so real to me in my mind, and when we signed the fight it all came together.”
McCall was a tremendous underdog heading into his fight with Lewis in Lewis’ own backyard of London, England. McCall, in the second-round, landed a left-right hook combination that knocked Lewis out.
Molina is hopeful that he can pull-off the exact same upset against Wilder on Saturday.
“When my dream becomes a reality on Saturday, I’ll come right back here and give Wilder the rematch,” added Molina.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Bruno Event Team are on sale now. Tickets start at only $25 with the best seats in the house going for $200. VIP packages are also available. To purchase tickets fans should visit alabamatitlefight.com. Tickets are selling fast and a sellout is anticipated.