Fight Pick & Preview – Wilder vs. Scott:
Deontay Wilder, the only American Olympic boxer to win a medal at Beijing, takes a big step up on March 15 when he meets one of the most underrated heavyweights in the game today, Malik Scott. For both men, this is the second big fight: Wilder is following up on his blow-out of a badly diminished Serhei Liakhovich, while Scott is coming back from a controversial TKO loss to Dereck Chisora.
Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KOs)
6’4″ tall, 33 years old, 231 lbs
Scott is a Philadelphia fighter, with the gritty attitude to match, but also good movement and a good jab. Yet what most fight fans know about Scott is only that he lost by TKO to Dereck Chisora, and those who didn’t see that fight therefore came away with entirely the wrong impression. Scott was actually winning that fight, with his jab and boxing ability outdoing Chisora’s body attack by a small, but not unappreciable margin.
Then Scott got nailed, and took a knee. He was clearly not badly hurt, kneeling as he was with a big grin on his face, but Scott made the mistake of waiting for the count of nine to get back up. The referee then screwed Scott by waving him off.
Scott’s record gives two possible readings. One is that the Chisora loss is totally bogus, and that Scott is therefore very underrated. The other is that he seemingly spent a lifetime before moving up in class, and didn’t do enough to clearly earn a victory against fellow prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov, a guy who is about to be fed whole to Tomasz Adamek. Glazkov entered the bout as the favorite, and most feel that Scott deserved the victory, but nevertheless, you could argue that Scott has perhaps already plateaued.
Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs)
6’7″ tall, 28 years old, 216 lbs
Wilder’s attributes are well-known to boxing fans. He is tall, rangy, quick, blessed with high explosive power, and seems unpolished. Still, when a guy has 30 KOs in 30 fights, even against largely middling opposition, one has to ask just how unpolished he really is.
Wilder vs. Scott Fight Analysis
Scott is Wilder’s sternest test to date, and while he lacks the name recognition of a Liahkovich or an Audley Harrison, Scott also isn’t a complete has-been like those two guys are. He has the best chance of any of Wilder’s opponents thus far of stretching the Olympian past the 4th Round and without curling up into a defensive shell and just trying to survive.
That said, Scott likes to fight in the center ring, using his movement and his jab to rack up points. He is also hindered by his merely average power. Against a big, rangy, quick guy like Wilder, it’s hard to see him getting any traction.
Wilder vs. Scott Prediction
Wilder is going to occupy the center ring by virtue of his cruise missile strikes, and there he will stay. Controlling the distance, he will put Scott either on the ropes, or at least moving defensively around the ring periphery, which is not a place Scott is comfortable being. Wilder will then tattoo him once he gets the Philadelphian’s timing down.
Prediction: Deontay Wilder KO5 Malik Scott