By Jason Pribila Ringside in Atlantic City: Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder used the spotlight of Showtime Championship Boxing to score a highlight reel KO at 1:26 of round four. On the receiving end of Wilder’s fury was the tough but overmatched Nicolai Firtha (21-11-1, 8 KO) of Akron, OH.
Wilder, who won an Olympic bronze medal, is now 30-0 and he has yet to force a judge to turn in a final round scorecard. He has the size and athleticism that makes American fight fans salivate, but he is being moved along meticulously for a reason. He does not have the amateur pedigree as most Olympic medalists, and Golden Boy just saw first-hand with Seth Mitchell what could happen when a heavyweight is rushed.
On this evening, it was Firtha who rushed out of his corner. He was swinging wildly and caught Wilder off balance in the early part of round one. Once Wilder got on his toes, and began to measure Firtha it was no longer a contest. Wilder scored his first of two knockdowns with right hooks that landed on Firtha’s ear. Firtha survived the round, but was down a field goal (10-7) after the opening three minutes.
Wilder showed patience in the second and third frames. He was moving well and setting up his offense behind his jab. He was breaking down Firtha, but was not in a rush to finish him. Firtha was bleeding from his nose, and he was feasting on a steady diet of Wilder jabs.
Drama was building in round four. No, not whether or not Firtha could make it a fight, but rather if he could be the first to take Wilder into round five. Suddenly Wilder landed a wicked uppercut that forced Firtha to retreat straight back with his hands at his side. Not in a good position to block the thunderous one-two that sent Firtha reeling to the canvas and Wilder gyrating to the neutral corner.
Following the fight Wilder gave credit to his team and he declared himself a “hitman”. Saying that whomever his team puts in front of him will be next to get knocked out. Let’s hope that hit list includes someone with a top ten ranking rather than one with ten-plus losses.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on twitter.com @PribsBoxing.
October 26, 2013