Former Deontay Wilder victim Artur Szpilka is ready for his cruiserweight debut after shedding a ton of weight for his move down a division.
Szpilka, never out of shape as a heavyweight, dropped over a stone (17 pounds) when returning from a summer KO loss to Derek Chisora in October.
The Pole was blasted out in two rounds by the Briton after giving away a similar margin to the man nicknamed ‘WAR’.
Three months later and Szpilka scaled 226 pounds as he took just 87 seconds to dispatch of Fabio Tuiach in his home nation.
The 30 year-old is now going even further after showing off his incredible physique on social media. Szpilka also revealed how many inches he burned from his waist when displaying a video clip of his trousers.
A former world title challenger in the top division, Szpilka was famously ahead on the scorecards against Wilder in 2016.
Just three rounds – nine minutes and six seconds to be exact – from becoming the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, Szpilka took an almighty shot. Unfortunately for him, and many others against ‘The Bronze Bomber’, that was all she wrote.
In the aftermath, Wilder infamously claimed he thought he’d killed Szpilka in what have now become infamous words.
Cruiserweight division I’m coming👊🏻📍🌪🇵🇱🇵🇱🇵🇱Can’t wait back to the Ring pic.twitter.com/gY8KkxQcKv
— Artur Szpilka (@szpilka_artur) November 27, 2019
— Artur Szpilka (@szpilka_artur) November 28, 2019
“When I knocked out Artur Szpilka, I thought he was dead for a few seconds. That’s just from natural, Alabama country power,” said Wilder in the run up to his follow-up clash with Gerald Washington.
When discussing what might have been, Szpilka was philosophical about the ending.
“Despite the eventual KO I think it was quite a good fight with Wilder,” he pointed out. “I had to fight with a broken hand from the fourth round onwards.
“Deontay finally got me in the ninth round but this is boxing. Up until that point I was very much in the fight. I proved I can mix it at that level. I hope the best is still to come.”
That best will have to come in the cruiserweight division in what many believe is the weakest division in the sport at present.
Champions at 200 pounds include Beibut Shumenov (WBA), Kevin Lerena (IBO) and Yuniel Dorticos (IBF). The WBC and WBO belts are currently vacant.
There’s no doubting Szpilka has the talent to compete in the division, and in his condition, he’s given himself the best chance possible to do so.
An official date for Szpilka’s first bout at the weight is expected soon.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay