Deontay Wilder became the first American world heavyweight champion for a decade when the Tuscaloosa puncher bludgeoned his way to the WBC title in 2015.
‘The Bronze Bomber’, making his name from an Olympic medal run at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, garnered little attention early on in his career.
Facing inexperienced fighters and campaigners with a losing record, it wasn’t until Wilder reached 23-0 in 2012 that boxing began to take notice.
By the time the hapless Kertson Manswell was downed in the first round. Wilder now had 15 knockouts from 24 victories, all of which had come within four rounds.
It’s safe to say he was making something of a name for himself. Stepping up his opposition soon after, that’s when Wilder’s career really took off.
The next two opponents had perfect records, before the likes of Audley Harrison and Siarhei Liakhovich, bonafide names in the also-ran stakes, also tumbled in the opener.
A world title contender was emerging. Three wins later, Wilder realized his dream by defeated Bermane Stiverne – the first man to take him the distance.
Due to his desire to claim the green and gold belt, Wilder played it safe and chose to ease his way to the strap.
It wasn’t until almost three years later that Wilder proved what he could really do to the Haitian-Canadian. Needless to say, it was another devastating first-round win.
Wilder was exactly what the US public needed at the right time. It was ten years since Mike Tyson retired and the glory days of stateside heavyweights were long gone.
Ferocious punching goes with the territory of the American public. Wilder had that in abundance.
Fast forward to 2020, and Wilder is bereft of a title. Predictions from the third fight with Tyson Fury don’t look good. Therefore, it could be a tough road back to the top division crown.
So who can take that mantle?
The likes of Jermain Franklin (26) – who is 20-0 with 13 KO’s, Cassius Chaney (33) – 18-0, 12 KO’s, and Darmani Rock (24) – 17-0, 12 KO’s are currently slightly ahead of Sonny Conto 6-0, 5 KO’s and Amron Sands 11-0, 9 KO’s.
All been talked about as a potential title challenger of the future. But there is one man beginning to stand out – even after just four bouts.
That man is Jared Anderson. The ‘Big Baby’ has looked devastating in his quartet of contests, stopping all four early on.
Then there’s Trey Lippe, the son of former world champion Tommy Morrison.
Lippe firmly possesses his father’s power and had bulldozed through sixteen opponents. Nine of those falling in the first round, Trey has never gone beyond six.
Due to injury problems, you might have to put Anderson out on his own right now, but Lippe can hit like a mule. He would certainly trouble anyone in the top fifteen ratings when experienced enough.
At present, those are the main two standing out of the 346 active US punchers plying their trade at 200 pounds plus.
Who will eventually bring back the belt? – Nobody knows. But unless Deontay Wilder wins against Fury this time around, it could be another long wait.