Wilder vs Wawrzyk undercard: Heavyweight bombers in must-win situationsWritten by Lee Cleveland
Four formidable heavyweight players will face off on the Wilder vs Wawrzyk undercard on February 25.
Kaufmann vs Mansour
Travis Kauffman (31-1, 23 KOs) of Reading, PA will face Amir Mansour (22-2-1, 16 KOs) and Dominic Breazeale will scrap with Artur Szpika.
The 31 year old Kauffman, who hasn't lost since 2009 (Tony Grano), initially dropped a controversial twelve round split decision to Chris Arreola last a year but the result was changed to a no-contest after Arreola tested positive for marijuana.
A very fresh 44, Mansour has been out of action since losing to Dominic Breazeale in January 2016 in an odd affair. In that bout, Mansour won the first five rounds on the judges' scorecards (50-44, 50-44, 50-44), and knocked down the much younger Breazeale in the third round. However, Mansour inadvertently bit his tongue nearly in half during the second round and could not breathe through his mouth, nor his nose as he entered the bout with a cold. Consequently, Mansour gave up on his stool.
Amir's only other loss came against Steve Cunningham in 2014. Mansour had Cunningham down twice in the fifth round and was floored himself in Round 10. Had Mansour won the tenth, the bout would have been a majority draw.
Breazeale vs Spilka
Boasting a deep amateur pedigree, the 6'7" Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KO) represented United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain, boxing as a Super Heavyweight (+91 kg).
In his most recent bout last summer, Dominic was stopped in seven by red hot IBF heavyweight title holder Anthony Joshua. It's his only loss to date and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
How good is Breazeale? Is he champion material and can he bounce bank from the loss to Joshua?
Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KO) will certainly test him.
Last year against Deontay Wilder, Artur held his own through the first eight rounds before being knocked unconscious in Round 9.
A 6'3"/191cm southpaw, Szpilka turned pro in 2008 and after missing out on the Olympics that year, and has beaten the likes of Manuel Quezada, Tomasz Adamek, Brian Minto and Jameel McCline.
Four formidable heavyweight bruisers at the crossroads and in must-win situations will look to get back into title contention on the Wilder vs Wawrzyk undercard.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.