-Deontay Wilder. (WBC Heavyweight Champion, November 2019)
Easy there, fella. I really wish there was a George Chuvalo around right now to test Wilder's theory. I like Wilder, but all of this talk about his power is too premature.
Look, Wilder can punch. But he's not on the Foreman level. Did any of you see that punching bag in Zaire when Foreman pounded it? I've never seen any heavyweight punch like that. That's power on a whole 'nother level. Don't compare Wilder's power to Foreman. Don't even compare it to Earnie Shavers.
If I had to compare Wilder's power to anybody, it'd be someone like Razor Ruddick or Max Baer. I'm not even convinced that Wilder punches as hard as someone like Tommy Morrison or David Tua. Wilder is a giant heavyweight who has great accuracy. He has an easier time getting his punch to the target than the shorter men who have to swarm their way inside. Wilder can catch you coming in. This, and a lack of great competition, is how his impressive knockout percentage culminated.
George Foreman recently stated that Joe Louis, Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier hit harder than Wilder. While all three of those men are among the all-time great sluggers, I disagree that Louis and Frazier hit harder than Wilder. I'll get to Tyson in a minute.
Another thing that keeps coming up is this annoying question.
"Would Deontay beat Mike Tyson?"
Here's the thing. Tyson struggled with big men. Yes, he generally beat them. But when a big guy decided to clinch, run or fight as a counter-puncher, Tyson just couldn't get the knockout.
James Tillis, Bonecrusher Smith, Tony Tucker and Mitch Green used these tactics to frustrate Mike. They were in survival mode and lost the fights, but they showed how to neutralize Mike's power if you're a big man.
At 6'7, Deontay is far bigger than those guys and has an 84-inch reach. He could easily use those long arms to wrap Tyson up in clinches and frustrate him.
But at the same time, Deontay has never fought anyone like Iron Mike. What would happen when Mike inevitably slips inside of Wilder's reach and smashes him on the chin with a fierce left hook?
We'll never know, but Wilder has never dealt with that kind of speed and power before. Because of that, I think Tyson would brutalize him. My prediction would be a Tyson knockout in two rounds. I'm talking 1988 Tyson here.
This isn't bias; it's basically more of a pick against Wilder than a pick for Tyson. We just don't know enough about Wilder to assess him yet, which is why I don't understand why people are jumping on his bandwagon so soon.
All I know about Wilder is that he can punch like hell with his right hand, but hasn't fought anyone on the all-time great level or with an all-time great chin to confirm how legit he really is.
Speaking of Tyson, people are asking if Wilder punches harder than Tyson.
With the right hand, possibly. Overall, no. Tyson could crack with both hands. But his signature punches were his left hook and uppercut. Wilder is possibly a harder right hand puncher than Tyson, but Tyson has more devastating punches in his arsenal than Wilder, who relies on his right hand for his knockouts.
Wilder told TMZ Sports the other day to "let the past go." In a way, I think he is right. For now, let's hold off on comparing him to past heavyweight champions. Right now his future looks bright, but it's still a mystery.
When Muhammad Ali was in his prime years (1964-67) people were not considering him an all-time great yet, often ranking Marciano, Louis, Johnson and Dempsey ahead of him. Likewise, Marciano was not viewed as one of the best during the years he fought. It wasn't until well after his retirement that his ranking skyrocketed. Take a look back at what the Ring Magazine rankings were during those times and read what sports writers were saying.
It can go the other way too, as people thought Riddick Bowe was on his way to being the next "big thing," but we saw how that turned out. The lesson is to sit back and watch these guys fight and see what happens. You never know who will be the real thing and who will be a disappointment.
People have been asking my opinion on these topics, so I decided to share.