WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will take the stage in primetime this Saturday, as he makes another title defense in his home state of Alabama. We’ll preview the fight, as well some news on former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
Deontay Wilder vs. Johann Duhaupas
Tale of the Tape
|Names:||Deontay Wilder||Johann Duhaupas|
|Record:||34-0-0, 33 KOs||32-2-0, 20 KOs|
|Weight:||~239 lbs||175 lbs|
|Hometown / Residence:||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||Abbeville, Somme, France|
Informationa via Boxrec
Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will square off against little known challenger Johann “The Reptile” Duhaupas on NBC as part of the Premier Boxing Championships series, with the telecast beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) is making the second defense of the title he won from Bermane Stiverne via unanimous decision in January. He knocked out Eric Molina in the ninth round in June for his first defense and will be facing another lesser-known opponent this weekend at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
“I think this is a great opponent for me, I think this is a great fight despite of what maybe critics may say about it,” said Wilder in this week’s press call to BoxingNews24. “They’re going to see this is a great fight, this is an exciting fight, this is going to definitely be a tough fight and I’m looking forward to it.”
The rise to the title has been well documented for Wilder, the best American heavyweight in many years. He did not begin boxing until the age of 21, and quickly became a decorated amatuer, earning a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic games.
After his professional debut in 2009, Wilder racked up win after win, knockout after knockout — 33 in row to be exact. He never even had a fight go past the fourth round. After the victory against Stiverne, he quieted many people who criticized the quality of his opponents.
“Every fight is not going to be the fight that people may want to see. Some people may want to see other fights but people have to understand that it’s not going to be the big fight all the time,” said Wilder. “The thing about people, they look at records, they look at who the last person’s fought, which for me means nothing.”
Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KOs) is the No. 11-ranked heavyweight by the WBC. He bounced back from a loss to Erkan Teper for the IBF Intercontinental Championship on March 14 to beat Manuel Charr by majority decision on April 10 in Moscow.
“This is something I’ve dreamt of for years,” said Duhaupas. “Once I am in the ring I forget everything about where I am, I just think about [the] fight and just focus on the fight and the opponent and it will be a normal fight for me. It’s really important for me because it’s a big fight in a big country and until the fight, when I’m in the ring, everything is the same thing that it would be in France or anywhere.”
This will be the first heavyweight title fight to be broadcast on free, over-the-air TV since Larry Holmes defended the same WBC title against Carl “The Truth” Williams on May 20, 1985. Holmes won a unanimous decision that night, a bout which was also televised by NBC.
“I love that I have the opportunity to fight on NBC, which hasn’t had a heavyweight title fight in over 30 years and now I get this opportunity,” said Wilder. “It’s the first time since 1985 and this is free TV so these moments inspire me. I don’t have a goal to be a pay-per-view star. I want to be where it’s affordable and people can watch and appreciate the sport of boxing as I defend my title.”
PBC on NBC is this Saturday, Sept. 26, with the telecast beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Jermain Taylor Released from Jail
Former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor cleared a major hurdle, for the time being, as he was granted bail this week.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson found Taylor mentally fit to stand trial, and Johnson set bail for Taylor at $25,000. The former middleweight champion was released from jail later that day.
Taylor had been jailed pending the results of a mental evaluation. He faces charges in three cases, including one accusing him of shooting and wounding his cousin last year. He has pleaded not guilty in all three.
Taylor has been inactive since last October, when he defeated Sam Solimon for the IBF middleweight title. He is set to travel to Florida to begin training camp next week.