Deontay Wilder lost the third fight of his professional career at the hands of Joseph Parker this month, looking a shadow of his former dangerous self.
Whilst all credit must go to the New Zealander for negating Wilder’s dangerous power shots, famed analyst and trainer Teddy Atlas believes that the American has never learned how to fight properly.
“He didn’t know how to fight. He never really got taught, or at least he didn’t learn the things that you need to learn to be more than a big banger. And they gave him the right guys and he banged them out, he had trouble with Ortiz and he got to Ortiz late.”
“It was not indicative of how he good he was, it was just guys that he could hit and he knocked them out. But when he fought that he couldn’t knock out, like Fury and Parker now, some of those shortcomings really came to the surface.”
Parker stayed out of mid-range over the course of twelve rounds, controlling centre ring from the outside before bursting in and catching Wilder with overhand rights to win a shutout on the cards.
It’s no secret that Wilder searches for the knockout, and Atlas believes that he has zero chance of ever out-boxing an opponent.
“You used the right word, that he got exposed. I think he got exposed, but he’s been exposed before – if he can’t hit you he’s got a problem. He’s got plenty of heart and he behaves like a fighter, he’s got good enough speed and a good chin, but when you have a plan, and you know how to fight, and you know how to avoid his right hand, you’re gonna win.
You have an automatic W against him. It’s not easy, you’ve got to go through twelve rounds of walking through minefields and not getting blown up.”
Atlas praised Parker and trainer Andy Lee for creating and sticking to a winning game-plan and took nothing away from the victory, but ended on a note that Wilder is not the same fighter that he used to be.
“He’s 38-years-old and he was in those wars with Fury, where he got knocked out in those last two fights. He got dropped, got off the floor, showed the heart of a warrior. He dropped Fury in the last one but he wound up being knocked out.
He took huge punishment in those fights. And you know what? You leave the ring minus some of yourself. I don’t think he’s fully got back everything he lost in those Fury fights.”
The heavyweight from Alabama has confirmed he will fight on, although a long-awaited clash with Anthony Joshua will now be off the table for the near future.