By: William Holmes
The heavyweight division is wide open. Long time champion Wladimir Klitschko was recently dethroned by Tyson Fury. Luis Ortiz has announced himself as a contender with his stoppage victory over Bryant Jennings. And on Saturday night, two world title belts will be on the line as Deontay Wilder defends his WBC World Heavyweight Title against Polish contender Artuz Szpilka and Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov takes on Charles Martin for the vacant IBF Heavyweight title.
Saturday’s card will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and will be televised live on Showtime.
The following is a preview of both of the Heavyweight World Title Fights.
Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (21-0-1) vs. Charles Martin (22-0-1); IBF Heavyweight Title
Vyaschesla “Czar” Glazkov is a heavyweight contender with an impressive amateur career, but has yet to have an impressive, decisive victory as a professional over a top rated contender.
He’s thirty one years old and is two years older than his opponent Charles Martin. Glazkov will also be about two inches smaller than his opponent and will be giving up a large four and a half inches in reach. Glazkov does have a more impressive amateur career, as he was a Bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics for Ukraine and was a Silver medalist in the 2007 World Amateur Championships. Charles Martin’s most notable amateur accomplishment was the 2012 National Police Athletic League Championship.
Charles Martin has an impressive twenty stoppage victories, including twelve straight stoppage victories. Glazkov only has thirteen stoppage victories, and only two of his past five victories did not go to the scorecards.
Glazkov, at this point in their careers, has faced the tougher competition as a professional, but some, like his victories over Steve Cunningham and Malik Scott, were questionable and could have been scored either way. His other notable victories include Darnell Wilson, Derric Rossy, Tomasz Adamek, Garret Wilson, Byron Polley, and Tor Hamer.
Martin’s most impressive victories to date include Kertson Manswell, Alexander Flores, Tom Dallas, Vincent Thompson, and Joey Dawejko.
Martin has been the more active fighter as he has fought four times in 2015 and five times in 2013. Glazkov fought twice in 2015 and three times in 2014.
Martin has the better physical traits and has the power to end a fight at moments notice. His southpaw stance could give Glazkov some trouble in the ring, but Glazkov has a much deeper amateur background and has faced better competition as a professional.
Glazkov has the skills to avoid the power shots of Martin and take this fight to a decision victory.
Deontay Wilder (35-0) vs. Artur Szpilka (20-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Deontay Wilder is the first American to hold a legitimate World Heavyweight Title since Shannon Briggs held the WBO title in 2007. Wilder appeared to be on a collision course to face Wladimir Klitschko in the near future, but an upset loss by Klitschko to Tyson Fury skirted those plans.
Wilder will have a smaller, but younger opponent in front of him on Saturday night. Wilder is thirty years old, with an 83” reach and stands at 6’7”. His opponent, the Polish boxer Artur Szpilka, is twenty six years old and stands at 6’3” with a 77” reach.
Wilder has an unbelievable knockout to win ratio which currently stands at 97.1%. He has stopped thirty four of his opponents, with only one boxer to last all twelve rounds.
Wilder has the better amateur career as he won the bronze medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Szpilka does not have the amateur background of Wilder, but he is an admitted ex soccer hooligan who used to get in fights with fans of rival soccer teams.
Szpilka has stopped fifteen of his opponents and is currently riding a four fight win streak. His lone loss came to Bryant Jennings, but he has fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2014 and has kept active despite the loss.
Wilder has faced suspect competition leading up to his world title victory over Bermane Stiverne, but his level of competition is slightly better than that of Szpilka. Wilder has defeated the likes of Johan Duhaupas, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, Siarhei Liakhovich, Audley Harrison, and Kelvin Price. Szpilka has defeated the likes of Yasmany Consuegra, Tomasz Adamek, Mike Mollo, and Jameel McCline.
Szpilka’s lone loss was by stoppage and Wilder’s punches are significantly harder than that of Bryant Jennings. Szpilka will likely have a loud and boisterous group of fans in attendance in Brooklyn which may give him some additional motivation on Saturday, but Wilder’s power advantage and size advantage in combination with a deeper amateur background will be too much for Szpilka to handle.
Wilder should get another stoppage victory to his resume on Saturday night.