Last week I wrote a brief preview on undefeated American heavyweight Deontay Wilder’s (31-0, 31KO) fight against once beaten Malik Scott. Saturday night was supposed to be the stiffest test of Wilder’s career. The fight lasted a total of 1:36 as Wilder knocked out Scott with a left hook straight right combination. Scott went down, looked a bit dazed and could not find a way to his feet. The fight ended and the controversy and conspiracy theories began to swirl.
Looking closely at the replay, only one of the two shots from the combination hit cleanly, and it looked like Scott could have made it to his feet. Perhaps he didn’t want to see if all the talk about Wilder’s power was for real. Maybe with that one shot he realized it just was not worth it, or maybe he really was hurt and absolutely out of it. We will never know, but that victory put Wilder as the mandatory opponent to face the winner of Bernard Stiverne and Chris Arreola, who fight May 15. Arreola and Stiverne are facing off for the title Vitali Klitschko vacated earlier this year to pursue a full-time political career. The two are very real heavyweights and have both been in the ring with the best in the division. The victor will undoubtedly be the first test for Wilder, not only physically, but also on the biggest stage of his career.
We thought we were going to see how Wilder would handle adversity Saturday night, but instead we saw another first round KO and a suspect one at that. Regardless of what happened against Scott, Wilder will be in a true battle this fall and the result will surely leave little doubt about what he really has to offer the heavyweight division.