By Johnny Walker
We were supposed to learn something new about American heavyweight hopeful Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder when he took on fellow American, very close friend and supposed fighter Malik “King” Scott on Saturday night in Puerto Rico.
Instead, what we learned was something one with eyes and ears could see and hear coming from the pre-fight presser–where Scott showed up inexplicably with a bag over his head, “Unknown Comic” style–onwards: with Golden Boy impressario Richard Schaefer repeatedly calling him “America’s next heavyweight champion,” the powers that be in American boxing, having seen one of their hype jobs, Seth Mitchell, exposed badly in the last year, are now banking on Wilder to bring back what used to belong almost exclusively to America: the heavyweight title(s).
On a night in which the scoring of the main event seemed itself very dubious, the Wilder-Scott “fight” wasn’t even that. It was pure farce, one of the more choreographed looking boxing events I’ve ever seen between the two good buddies. It was almost as if they’d run through the first round a few times before the bout.
Scott came out and basically did a statue imitation, refusing to throw anything with any evil intent at Wilder, who stalked him around and stuck out an occasional lazy jab.
The crowd was soon booing, smelling the farce being cooked up in front of their eyes.
Ironically, on a night in which veteran Polish warrior Tomas Adamek would struggle and fall to a younger version of himself in “Czar” Glazkov, and likely see his excellent career end, Scott appeared to be just looking for a soft spot to land as he and his good buddy did a little slow dance around the ring.
In what looked rehearsed, reminding one of David Haye shaking his head and saying “now” to a similarly frozen Audley Harrison in a third round in which he said he’d bet on himself a few years ago, suddenly Wilder decided to throw a couple of punches at Scott, neither of which landed at anything like full force.
A clip on the ear that made the shot Tony Thompson hit David Price with look like a massive KO shot, and a missed trademark “big right hand” from Wilder, and there was Scott, the now very known comic, writhing around on the floor like he’d just been hit by a freight train, and of course he wasn’t getting up in time to beat the count.
The (ahem) “fight” was called off at 1:36 of round one.
Mind you, Malik Scott is a man in his early thirties who until his previous, controversial fight with Brit Dereck Chisora, had himself never been beaten. Suddenly, though, he seemed to be someone who just wandered into the ring with no idea where he was or what to do with the guy across from him.
Apparently even the wind from a missed Wilder punch is strong enough to KO an opponent. No wonder Schaefer is so certain Wilder will be a heavyweight champion. This was enough to prompt a journalistic colleague to label Wilder “The Bronze Breeze.”
Yes, it was that stinky a non-fight.
Anyway, after writing a preview the other day citing the cabbies, caddies and bartenders Wilder had thus far fought, I should apologize to those guys, because most of them put forth more effort than supposedly skilled boxer Scott (36-2-1, 13 KOs). Hell, one of them, Harold Sconiers, even knocked “The Bronze Breeze” on his skinny butt.
Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) is supposedly now set to meet the winner of the rematch for the WBC belt vacated by Vitali Klitschko between Haitian-Canadian Bermane Stiverne and Mexican-American Cristobal Arreola.
It’s hard to imagine either one of those tough guys, having just won a major heavyweight strap, just rolling over for Deontay Wilder. So if you’re asking if Wilder is “ready” for such a meeting, your guess is as good as mine. This farce proved nothing either way.
However, the fact that Wilder didn’t seem to want to talk about the bout to reporter Jim Gray after its conclusion, and the fact that the crowed booed heavily as they saw the replays of the ending, both speak volumes for what we saw on this night.
The Bronze Breeze was so strong that its scent wafted over the audience, and they didn’t like the smell.