Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) is expected to have his hands full when he faces Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) on May 21st. At first the fight was expected to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but after Povetkin's promoter Andrey Ryabinsky won the right to promote the fight with a $7.15M purse bid, he made it clear he would be bringing the title fight to Moscow.
Some cynical fans (and let's face it, most boxing fans are justifiably cynical) were concerned about what this meant about Wilder's chances of getting a fair shake on the judges scorecard. Deontay Wilder, though, isn't worried about that at all.
"Like I said, all things are in God's hands, and if it's in his will for me to win, it's going to happen. If not, then I don't stop there. My legacy is not going to stop there. But I'm very confident in what I'm about to do and what I'm going to do, and we all know that if we knock him out then we don't have to worry about that. So, of course, that's going to be my priority on my list -- to knock him out."
Wilder even goes so far as to say that he's actually relishing the opportunity to defend his world title abroad.
"I think it's a great fight. I think it's a great thing that we're going over todefending my title in somebody else's backyard. It's easier for me to fight here in America, but that's not what it's all about to me. When I have a title that says 'the heavyweight champion of the world,' I want to travel all over the world to defend my title. I'm living my dream. I'm getting an opportunity to do that with this fight. I'm looking forward to Russia and I want to tell Russia, 'Here I come.'"
If Wilder is able to KO Povetkin, it would certainly be an impressive feat. Povetkin has never been stopped in his career and even in his sole loss to Wladimir Klitschko he was never in any real danger of being halted. So not only would a Wilder stoppage be impressive, it would also build tremendous clamor for title unification fights against rising star Anthony Joshua or the Fury-Klitschko II winner.
Personally I would love nothing more than to see Wilder and Joshua go head-to-head right now, at this point of their respective careers. Wilder is often criticized for his padded record, and Joshua appears to to be at at least the same stage of development. It would be a massive fight between two young, massively-sized fighters.
Do you think Wilder will get past Povetkin next month? And if so, which match-up do you think would be the biggest fight to make in the heavyweight division?