Deontay Wilder’s 10 most devastating knockouts: His sickening stoppages over Bermane Stiverne, Artur Szpilka and more highlight why Tyson Fury trilogy fight is NOT a foregone conclusion
- Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury go head-to-head for a third time this weekend
- The Bronze Bomber is looking to avenge his one-sided defeat in February 2020
- The American is the significant underdog after being totally outclassed last year
- But his freakish one-punch knockout power simply cannot be overlooked
- Sportsmail analyses the 10 best knockout wins on Wilder’s 44-fight record
Deontay Wilder enters his trilogy bout against Tyson Fury this weekend as the significant underdog, but with 41 emphatic stoppages on his 44-fight record, his freakish one-punch power cannot be overlooked.
Arguably the most devastating puncher in boxing history, the Bronze Bomber has proven time and time again that even a momentary lapse in concentration can be a recipe for disaster for those taking on the 6ft 7in giant.
Wilder will seek revenge when he and Fury take to Las Vegas once more this weekend, after the Gypsy King delivered a career-best performance to stop the American in seven brutal rounds back in February 2020.
The match-up came after their controversial draw in December 2018, where Fury was evidently the more polished boxer but was put to the canvas twice, miraculously rising from a heavy knockdown in the 12th and final round.
All the talk has been of an undisputed showdown between Fury and either Anthony Joshua or his recent conqueror Oleksandr Usyk, but to rule out Wilder would be nothing short of foolish.
Yes, he might have just a puncher’s chance, but what a punch it is he possesses. Sportsmail analyses Wilder’s top 10 most devastating knockout wins below.
Deontay Wilder (right) takes on Tyson Fury (left) this weekend as they complete their trilogy
The American suffered a brutal stoppage defeat in their previous meeting in February 2020
We start with Nikolai Firtha, otherwise known as the ‘Stone Man’, who retired after his stoppage defeat to Wilder back in 2013.
Firtha had also been stopped by Fury two years prior to his match-up against Wilder, though in entirely different fashion.
The American had Fury in all sorts of trouble in a highly one-sided third round but by the fifth it was Firtha who was taking the sustained punishment, with the referee calling a halt to the bout. Wilder’s future opponent was still standing, however, and looked bitterly disappointed with the decision.
Firtha had also previously gone the distance with Alexander Povetkin, who won by unanimous decision, showing quite how durable he was.
Wilder’s power proved too much to handle as he dismantled Nicolai Firtha back in 2013
But against Wilder it was a different story. He simply couldn’t handle the power and was knocked to the canvas on three occasions in what would prove to be his final-ever bout.
Wilder was actually rocked slightly in the opening seconds of the encounter, but he recovered well and had Firtha down in the first round.
Firtha nearly fell through the ropes as he was knocked down in the third round and was utterly flattened by a whopping right hand in the fourth, with the referee immediately calling a halt to proceedings.
It was Wilder’s 30th successive victory by knockout.
9) David Long
Deontay Wilder’s record
By KO: 41
Up next is David Long, who was Wilder’s 20th knockout victim in as many outings.
Despite fighting against significantly lesser opposition than what we’ve become accustomed to in more recent times, Wilder was slowly but surely developing a reputation as a fiercely hard-hitting heavyweight.
His performance against Long back in 2011 certainly added to his ever-building stature, claiming his 13th first-round stoppage.
Fighting on the undercard of Adrien Broner vs Vincente Rodriguez, the early seconds of the round saw both fighters feeling each other out, as to be expected.
But in one punch the fight was immediately over, as a thudding right hand saw Long momentarily frozen in mid-air before falling to the canvas almost in slow motion.
Long was visibly in distress following the emphatic shot but he recovered well and fought on another four occasions.
He had just one defeat before getting into the ring with Wilder; he subsequently lost three of his final four.
8) Kesley Arnold
Sticking with Wilder’s early career, and the American brushed aside Kesley Arnold in one destructive round back in their 2009 meet.
It was an utter mismatch from start to finish, with Wilder throwing bombs from the opening bell as he looked for another highlight reel knockout.
It didn’t take Wilder long to find one, with a right hand to the temple once again momentarily freezing his opponent, who dropped face first onto the canvas.
Arnold lay face up with his arms sprawled across the ring as Wilder celebrated the sixth victory of his short career to date. He had still reached round two just once.
Again, Wilder was fighting poor opposition, but it was the manner in which he was stopping his opponents that was so frightening.
The 23-year-old Olympic bronze medalist was clearly very raw; his fundamentals are still not the best 12 years later. But he showed improvements with a sharp and powerful jab, before the main show – his right hand – came into play.
7) Eric Molina
More recently in 2015, Wilder delivered another spectacular knockout as he defeated Eric Molina. This time, however, he did it as a heavyweight world champion.
Wilder had become America’s first heavyweight champion since 2007 in his previous outing against Bermane Stiverne, where he went past four rounds for the first time in his career.
Having put in a classy performance to win the WBC strap via unanimous decision, Wilder made the first defence of his title against Molina in his home state of Alabama.
Wilder made the first defence of his WBC belt against Eric Molina in Alabama back in 2015
Molina was sent crashing to the canvas four times before the fight was eventually stopped
Molina enjoyed some early success, catching his opponent a number of times in the opening three rounds, even wobbling Wilder with a thunderous left hook that saw the American’s legs buckle.
But Wilder changed the course of the fight with a scintillating left hook of his own that saw Molina crash to the canvas in the fourth round.
Molina was saved by the bell but was down on his back twice more in the fifth, first as another left hook caught the retreating and cowering American, before a right hand sent him down again.
Molina somehow managed to make it to the ninth round but another huge blow saw him down once more, with the referee stopping the fight this time. It was a brutal display of Wilder’s sheer tenacity, spite and power.
6) Siarhei Liakhovich
In 2013, Wilder delivered perhaps the most gruesome punch of his career as he defeated Siarhei Liakhovich by first-round stoppage.
Having landed little of note in the opening exchanges of the bout, Wilder connected with two quickfire straight-rights, the second of which saw Liakhovich drop immediately to the floor.
The Belarusian, a former world champion, started to spasm uncontrollably as the paramedics immediately made their way to the ring.
The episode didn’t last for long, thankfully, with Liakhovich conscious, sat up and communicating to his corner shortly after.
Wilder subsequently described the episode as ‘scary’ as he continued his devastating knockout streak.
‘They’re saying that he’s going to be okay,’ he said. ‘I heard that he’s going to be in the hospital for a couple of days, but that was a scary moment.
‘I’ve seen it all over the place. That was on YouTube and it’s on the internet. Just to see his eyes roll into the back of his head and him going into a seizure like that, and he had a concussion as well, that was scary.’
Liakhovich made a full recovery and has fought five times since, including against Andy Ruiz Jr, who won by unanimous decision.
5) Kelvin Price
In what was his 26th outing as a professional, Wilder came up against the also unbeaten Kelvin Price in what was deemed a more even contest than some of his prior bouts.
Price, also 6ft 7in, had won all of his 13 previous fights, though with just the six knockouts to his name. But any thoughts that this was going to be a competitive fight swiftly evaporated.
The first two rounds were essentially a non-event. Wilder was unusually tentative, and though Price tried to force the pace on a couple of occasions, there was very little action. There were even boos from the crowd as the second round came to a close.
Wilder handed Kelvin Price the first defeat of his career with a stunning third-round knockout
But in the third, Wilder came to life. In his first meaningful punch of the fight, an overhand right sent a startled Price flying to the floor, desperately holding onto the ropes as he looked for a way up.
The fight was over the second the punch landed, however. The referee waved it off and Wilder had his 26th straight knockout.
Wilder proved again that if he landed clean, one punch was all he needed.
4) Luis Ortiz 2
Wilder truly showed his freakish power as he knocked Luis Ortiz out for a second time in 2019.
The Bronze Bomber had claimed a stoppage victory over Ortiz the year prior in what was a thrilling affair.
Both fighters were hurt throughout the fight, with Wilder saved by the bell in the seventh after knocking Ortiz down heavily in the fifth. And in the 10th round, Wilder delivered two stunning knockdowns with the referee halting proceedings.
Their eagerly-anticipated rematch was an entirely different fight, though with the same outcome.
Luis Ortiz was floored and counted out after one thudding right hand from Wilder in 2019
Wilder was thoroughly outclassed for six rounds, but in the seventh he sent shockwaves reverberating around the heavyweight division as he stopped the contest with one brutal punch.
A straight right hand left Ortiz crumpled by the ropes. Looking utterly perplexed, Ortiz struggled to get to his feet but didn’t make the count in time.
Prior to the bout, Wilder insisted Ortiz would have to be perfect for the full 12 rounds, whereas he would only need to be perfect for a second. His prediction was right.
3) Bermane Stiverne
Having become world champion with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Stiverne nearly three years prior, Wilder looked a totally different animal in their 2017 bout.
This time, Wilder was in a hurry. He immediately took centre-ring and began to stalk his prey, flicking out his powerful jab as he lined up that famous right hand.
With under a minute remaining of the first round, Wilder pounded his chest as if to signal his immediate intentions, before unleashing a lethal one-two that saw Stiverne crash to the canvas.
Wilder annihilated Bermane Stiverne in one destructive round in their 2017 rematch
Stiverne angrily shook his head as he defiantly beat the count, but a menacing Wilder scored another knockdown with a flurry of thumping shots. And in the blink of an eye, the contest was over.
The referee called a stop to proceedings with Stiverne on the canvas once more.
Wilder had clearly been frustrated by a late change in opponent, with mandatory challenger Stiverne replacing Ortiz after his failed drug test.
It showed in his performance – and Stiverne wanted out from the first second.
2) Dominic Breazeale
Again, we have another first-round knockout, as Wilder absolutely destroyed his fellow American Dominic Breazeale.
For context, Breazeale had lost just once in his career to Anthony Joshua, who needed seven rounds to finally get rid of the stubborn giant.
There was bad blood in abundance throughout the build-up to the bout, after the pair were involved in a hotel lobby feud after fighting on the same card in 2017.
Wilder destroyed Dominic Breazeale in the first round of their 2019 bout in New York
Breazeale, who insisted he was attacked by Wilder’s entourage in front of his wife, vowed to ‘shut him up once and for all’.
That wasn’t to be, however, as Breazeale was flattened with 43 seconds of the opening round remaining.
Breazeale fought back well and actually wobbled Wilder after being hurt early on, but a vicious, trademark straight right left him in a heap, with the fight swiftly ended.
1) Artur Szpilka
Finally, we have Wilder’s quite astonishing knockout win over Artur Szpilka in 2016.
If ever there was a moment that encapsulated quite the freakish power Wilder possesses, it was his stunning win over the Polish fighter.
Wilder had struggled to get close to Szpilka for eight rounds, with the smaller, quicker fighter utilising his movement to stay out of reach.
Many believed the challenger was winning at the time of the stoppage, though the official cards had Wilder 78-74, 78-4 and 77-75 up.
Artur Szpilka had to be taken out on a stretcher after being knocked out in the ninth round
Fury got into the ring to confront his future opponent after Wilder retained his WBC belt
Wilder wasn’t to know that, however, and he came up with the goods when he needed it, knocking Szpilka out unconscious with one massive right hand in the ninth round.
Beating his opponent to the punch as the smaller man looked for a left-hook Wilder connected with a stunning shot to the side of the head which knocked Szpilka out before he’d even hit the floor.
Szpilka was down for a number of minutes after the knockout, though he was awake and responsive before being taken out of the ring on a stretcher.
Wilder moved to 36-0, with 35 of his victories coming by way of knockout. And though they would not fight for over two years, his rivalry with Fury erupted as the Gypsy King stepped into the ring after the fight.
A classic heavyweight rivalry was born following Wilder’s most emphatic knockdown, and it will most likely be completed as they come together for potentially the final time this weekend.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article