Deontay Wilder: America's brightest hope?

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Many say the heavyweight division died with the downfall of Mike Tyson and, looking back, they may be correct. The sport has suffered without a great American heavyweight.

An American-born heavyweight hasn't held a world title since Shannon Briggs in 2006. Even worse, an American hasn't made a successful title defense since September 2005 (Lamon Brewster).

The division has been dominated by two fighters, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, who have ruled the heavyweight scene for most of the past decade.

While they are incredibly talented, their fighting styles are not appealing to the casual fan, thus making the heavyweight division one of the most less-bantered weight classes in the sport.

And while it's not their fault the division is devoid of other stars, it certainly doesn't help matters.

Earlier this month, the much-anticipated showdown between Wladimir and unbeaten Russian Alexander Povetkin fizzled as Wladimir clinched and hugged from start to finish, winning a boring 12-round decision. Klitschko, aside from all the mauling, even showcased judo, throwing Povetkin to the canvas no fewer than seven times.


Through no fault of Povetkin, the bout was a complete embarrassment and symbolic of what the heavyweight division has become.

Twenty years ago, a "fringe" title bout between the late Tommy Morrison and 40+ George Foreman sold 600,000 PPV's. Today, few Americans would pay $5 to watch a Klitschko brother fight in a "major" world title bout.

But again, the Klitschkos are only partially at fault. The division lacks star power; More specifically, American talent.

Enter: Deontay Wilder

This weekend, under the bright lights of Boardwalk Hall, another American hopeful will set out to prove he's more than just another 'hope.'

Deontay Wilder, 27, (29-0) has won all of his fights by knockout and is quickly positioning himself for a title shot.

Until recently, Wilder had been considered nothing more than an average prospect with a penchant for beating-up club fighters. However, after his last two knockout victories against respected opposition, his status has quickly elevated status to that of "serious prospect."

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But the question remains: Is Wilder just another over-hyped American hope?

Can he dethrone Wladimir Klitschko?

Wilder has been unstoppable thus far but the heavyweight division isn't exactly a wealth of talent.

Until Wilder fights one of the Klitschkos we'll never know how good he is but he may be America's best hope yet.

Deontay Wilder vs Nicolai Firtha
Saturday, October 26
9pm ET
Atlantic City, NJ
10 rounds, heavyweights

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