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Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs): Should all American boxers fervently support him?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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On January 17, explosive 29 year old Deontay Wilder will fight WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne of Canada. The bout will serve as Deontay's first world title shot.

Wilder's outstanding record of 32 wins 0 losses and 32 knockouts has a lot of people talking about the American boxer.

Not only has Deontay knocked out all of his opponents, he's done so within four rounds. None of his 32 foes have seen Round 5.

Next week, Deontay will look to become the first American heavyweight belt-holder in seven years (Shannon Briggs, 2007).

And while lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will remain the real and legitimate ruler of the division regardless the outcome, Deontay Wilder is officially a 'person of interest' among the American mainstream.

Boxing, from a popularity standpoint, has simmered in the U.S. over the last ten years yet Wilder vs Stiverne is generating a healthy buzz here and far more interest than nearly all of the Klitschko brothers' title defenses to date.

Why has boxing lost some of the appeal it had in the States during the 1980s and 1990s?

"Where the Heavyweights go, so goes boxing," is an old adage that has been met with a lot of controversy.

Regardless of whether you agree, one cannot argue it may hold at least some significance for those living on American soil.

Unlike places such as the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Philippines, the United States, for whatever reason, tends to place unusually high significance on the heavyweight division.

Some would argue boxing thrives in the U.S. with the presence of an American heavyweight champion or, at least, several American stars in contention.

"... If the winner of this fight [Wilder vs Stiverne] scores a sensational knockout victory, the heavyweights could move to the forefront of the sport once again," stated 83 year old Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker Don Chargin.

"The overwhelming perception of the sport can change with one great performance in the ring. I've seen it happen many times throughout boxing history."

If Mr. Chargin is accurate, an impressive Wilder victory will not only garner more U.S. interest in the heavyweight division, other divisions will ride its coattails.

Is there such thing as a trickle-down effect in boxing?  If so, should all American boxers, amateur and professional, be routing hard for Deontay Wilder?

Revenue in the entertainment and sports industries is entirely dependent on supply and demand so businesses often fail because there's not enough demand for what they are selling.

If Deontay Wilder becomes a mainstream star a la Floyd Mayweather, will the demand for boxing in the U.S. increase?

More ticket sales and advertisers translate into one very important thing... More money, from top to bottom.

If you are an amateur or professional American fighter who supports the idea that a popular American heavyweight enhances the overall health of boxing in the U.S., you should take a strong, vested interest in Wilder vs Stiverne.

... An impressive Wilder victory just may fuel the demand for your trade, thus giving your career and everyone else's a sizable boost.



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