I know I’m blessed with God-given power. After our team prayer, I always pray that I don’t hurt the guy I’m fighting, that if he has a family he will be OK enough afterward to continue to provide for them. – Deontay Wilder
INDIO, CA — Last night’s ShoBox triple-header was all about dominance as Deontay Wilder, Francisco Vargas and Jermall Charlo all notched impressive victories at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino.
The main event featured the undefeated Wilder raising his KO streak to 29 with a first round TKO over Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich. The Russian veteran had long seen better days, and this fight from its announcement was rightly seen as mercy killing rather than a competitive contest. The first glancing right hand had Liakhovich stumbling into the ropes. The next one, which landed flush to the left side of Liakhovich’s face, had him on the canvas mimicking a beached fish.
“I’m just blessed with tremendous power,” said Wilder. “I don’t depend on it, but it is there. I think my real secret isn’t power. It’s my speed. I think people hear about all my KO’s and tend to overlook that.”
There’s two things that can’t be overlooked about Wilder’s record: the low level of competition and lack of rounds. Five years into his career, Wilder has never gone more than five rounds. That is directly tied to the lack of high-level opponents on his resume. Yes, Wilder can punch, but every power-puncher has his limits.Let’s take Mike Tyson. Three years into Iron Mike’s career, he had gone the distance four times. It’s getting to the point now where these blowouts are actually a detriment to Wilder’s development. He’s in dire need of getting in there with someone who can take his punches and force him to make adjustments.
Fortunately, it looks like Wilder will have a golden opportunity to step up with the confirmation that Seth Mitchell and Chris Arreola will fight at Fantasy Springs on September 6. If Arreola wins as expected, that would be a very solid test for Wilder.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHRCORQ9Fkw&feature=youtube_gdata_player]
CHARLO PUNISHES SMITH: Jermall Charlo promised to”discipline” contender Antwone Smith for not making weight. That reprimand came in the form of an overhand right, leading to an efficient second-round TKO. The scheduled 10-rounder was supposed to held at the junior-middleweight limit of 154 pounds, but Smith missed weight by an astounding 5 pounds. Along with his brother Jermell, the Charlo brothers are on the rise and looking like the next siblings to strike gold. Asked if the weight factored into his quick exit from the fight, Smith supplied the best quote of the night.
“My weight issues had nothing to do with this. I felt normal – until I got hit.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g8q4IcE8IQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player]
VARGAS QUIETS BENNETT: One of the unwritten rules of boxing is that if you come to the ring via an extravagant entrance, you have to deliver an amazing fight performance. Brandon Bennett came up with the novel idea of having his Cincinnati comrade Adrien Broner walk him to the ring with horrible, off-beat rapping. Bennett didn’t deliver a great in-ring performance in the conventional sense, but he showed an amazing ability to absorb punishment. Francisco Vargas overcame a bad cut courtesy of an accidental head butt to deliver consistent pressure and a thorough body attack to wear out Bennett in route to a unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92 and 99-90).
Afterward, Bennett admitted that the Vargas’ pressure unhinged him.
“His strength and speed didn’t surprise me. I just didn’t stick to my game plan,” explained Bennett. “I should have stayed in the middle of the ring. I thought I had him after the first two rounds, but he closed the gap on me in the third and that got me out of my game plan. Instead of just throwing, I waited. Maybe we’ll meet again one day.”