Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 16
By Peter Lim
Given how vulnerable Wilder has looked against very ordinary opponents, Szpilka is very much a live underdog, especially since Wilder is venturing into uncomfortable southpaw territory. And given Szpilka's sloppy defense that was exposed in his loss to Bryant Jennings, and the fact that both men can crack, the winner simply boils down to who lands the first clean power punch.
Despite his imposing height and reach, Wilder allows crude and limited brawlers to close the distance with alarming ease. Eric Molina and Johann Duhaupas were handpicked, run-of-the-mill
right-handed opponents who did just that.
Wilder's negligible mileage as a pro against southpaws coupled with his tendency to hold his gloves low will ultimately be his Achilles' heel. A Szpilka right hook finds Wilder's chin over his low-hanging
left in the fourth round dropping the lanky titleholder for the
first time in his career. A follow-up barrage stops Wilder for an
early candidate for the 2016 Upset of the Year.
What I predicted to be a potential Upset of the Year turned out to be an early nominee for Knockout of the Year.