After knocking out Artur Szpilka in the ninth-round of Saturday’s heavyweight title fight, Deontay Wilder looks to be on his way towards earning his shot at a top boxer in the division. The WBC champion is currently negotiating a fight with highly regarded Alexander Povetkin, which could open the door for a bout with WBO, IBF, and WBA champion Tyson Fury.
Wilder is one of boxing’s rising stars, and he helped his case to finally get a high-profile fight by knocking out Szpilka cold to improve his career record to 36-0. Up next for Wilder is Povetkin, who became the No.1 contender for Wilder’s belt when he beat Mariusz Wach with a 12th-round TKO in November.
“The next fight will absolutely see Wilder against the mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin,” WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com. "Right now, there is a negotiating process in which the parties have 30 days [to reach a deal]. I think the fight will take place in May or June."
Povetkin is 30-1 with his only career loss coming to Wladimir Klitschko, against whom he lasted 12 rounds in a unanimous decision loss. But Wilder will be favored to remain undefeated, and his biggest test could come after that fight.
A bout with Klitschko or Fury would truly put Wilder on the map, and the 30-year-old might not be that far away from getting his shot. Interrupting Wilder’s post-fight interview on Saturday, Fury stepped inside the ring and challenged the champ to a future bout.
“There’s only one Tyson Fury! What do you got to say about that, Deontay? What you got to say about that?” Fury shouted at Wilder, who had just knocked out Szpilka.
“Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. When you’re ready,” Fury said, after Wilder responded by calling him a phony.
Fury improved his career record to 25-0 when he defeated Klitschko in November to claim multiple heavyweight titles, handing the former champ his first loss in over 11 years. The two heavyweights are expected to have a rematch sometime in 2016.