Deontay Wilder's opposition has been bagged on. Deservedly so, quite frankly. But they've inched him along, put a stronger body on him, developed his skills bit by bit, and he's now 29-0 (29 KO) after a knockout win over Siarhei Liakhovich. The end came at just 1:43 of the first round, when Wilder landed a thudding right hand that put the veteran former titlist on the canvas, where he went into a bit of an involuntary spasm as referee Thomas Taylor stopped the bout.
Liakhovich (25-6, 16 KO) is 37 years old and far, far past his best days, and he'd lost his last two, both by stoppage, but in those fights, he was able to go rounds, take some shots from Bryant Jennings and Robert Helenius, and stand his ground somewhat. In this one, the first serious right hand from Wilder put Liakhovich down and ended the fight.
The guy can flat-out punch. There is no question about that. How high of a step up is he ready for? I don't know. Because we keep not seeing much about what he can do if he gets hit, if he faces adversity, or whatever. He is a pure, all-power punching machine. He used his jab a little, moved a little, and then one right hand, and it was over. He almost can't help but finish guys off as soon as he lands something significant. He is a monster puncher.
That doesn't mean he's headed for greatness, of course. A lot of guys can punch. Victor Oganov had a similar streak a while back, and he was exposed against Fulgencio Zuniga, a fringe contender. Wilder has a long way to go in terms of opposition to prove he's a credible heavyweight threat. We know that, it goes without saying, really.
But man, can he punch.