WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has big plans for 2017 starting with his title defense against the capable Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) on February 25 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Wilder wants to fight the winner of Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko fight on April 29, and he also wants to face WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker as well.
It’s going to be a great year for Wilder if he can get both of those fights and win them both. Right now, Wilder is stuck on replay in defending his WBC title in voluntary defenses one after another. Wawrzyk will be Wilder’s fifth voluntary defense in a row of his World Boxing Council strap. I know that’s not a record, but it’s still a very long run of fights without having to defend his title once against a mandatory challenger.
“Many say I’m the best in the World, others disagree but when it’s all said and done I will unify this division,” said Wilder. ”If Anthony Joshua beats Wladimir Klitschko, we’ll fight.”
If Wilder can get a fight against Joshua in 2017, he’ll likely be an underdog. However, with Wilder’s punching power, he’s got the power in his right hand to stop Joshua with single shot. If Wilder lands flush with his right, it’s goodnight Joshua. I don’t care how powerful Joshua is, he’s only human.
It’s still unknown who Wilder will be facing when he eventually destroys Wawrzyk on February 25. If he can’t Parker or Joshua to fight him, then he might wind up facing his mandatory this year. That could Bermane Stiverne or maybe even Alexander Povetkin if the WBC chooses to let him be the guy that faces Wilder. I doubt it. Povetkin’s two positive drug tests will likely keep him out of the picture for a title shot against Wilder for the time being.
A lot of fans want to see the 6’6” Joshua and the 6’7” Wilder mix it up in a unification fight. It would involve two Olympians, Joshua a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and Wilder a 2008 bronze medalist. Joshua had some questionable decision wins in the London Olympics in the year he won. There were two highly controversial wins for Joshua over Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon that could have gone the other way. Deontay lost to Italy’s Clemente Russo by a 7-1 score in the semifinals in the 2008 Olympics in the heavyweight division. Wilder appeared to beat Russo with ease in out-landing him in every round, but the judges didn’t give him points when he would land. Wilder should have been the gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics in my opinion.