By: Ron Valderrama/Examiner.com
WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) destroyed Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs) by knockout last night at the Barclays Center in New York before a large crowd, which included a large number of Polish boxing fans. The featured bout was presented by DiBella Entertainment and televised on Showtime and was the third defense of his title for Wilder.
In a division that has lacked the excitement at least in America for many years, this fight may have help turn the corner for heavyweights. Even before the fight happened, Wilder and Szpilka exchanged words and almost brawled during a photo op and interview earlier in the week. The heated meeting had the two fighters going nose-to-nose and involved a little pushing and shoving before they were separated.
The first round began like most fights, both fighters analyzing and determining an angle of attack, it was pretty much a touchy-feely round. Wilder had the advantage in height and reach, but Szpilka seemed to frustrate Wilder a bit, forcing him to throw and miss a couple of rights. Wilder was taking no chances, keeping a safe range as he knew Szpilka could be dangerous if not careful.
In round four, Wilder was still playing it safe from a range and was beginning to feel more comfortable when he landed a stinging right on Szpilka that jolted his head back. It gave Wilder some confidence, but it was clear Szpilka was not going to go away very easy as he kept moving forward.
As the fight progressed leading up to the mid-rounds, Szpilka had success landing a few shots that forced Wilder back, forcing him to keep a safe range. In round six, Wilder used his jab to determine a safe range and finally had Szpilka figured out. Some impressive hard rights thrown by Wilder caused swelling under the right eye of Szpilka, but the Polish beast kept moving forward and showing heart.
In the final two rounds of the fight, Wilder had found his range and was clearly ahead on the scorecards, landing the cleaner connecting shots on Szpilka. The end for Szpilka would come in round nine of the scheduled twelve round fight when Wilder landed a hard right for the knockout win, dropping Szpikla who was out before he hit canvas. It was a scary moment as Szpilka was clearly out cold from the devastating blow. He was alert shortly after, but as a precaution, Szpilka was transported on a backboard to the hospital for observation.
Some boxing notables were in attendance at ringside, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis who both fought on Showtime back in the day. The real entertainment would come after the fight when Tyson Fury, also in attendance, jumped in the ring challenging Wilder to a match after he fights a rematch with Klitschko.
For the most part, it was a good night for the boxing heavyweight division, David Haye won his bout by knockout in round one earlier in the day against Mark de Mori in London, and earlier on the Wilder-Spilka undercard, Charles Martin defeated Vyacheslav Glazkov by TKO in round three and obtaining the IBF title surrendered by Fury.