With the Holiday Season upon us, and the Deontay Wilder- Tyson Fury fight taking place the first day of December, one might think it’s a stretch to look at fight night in Dickens terms, but this isn’t an ordinary fight and not an ordinary card.
Of course, we will see the Deontay Wilder of the present in full display as he will be fighting on the card and we will know where he is in this time of his career. We will also know what the future holds for Wilder, but not the just the one you may be thinking about.
Tuscaloosa’s Marsellos Wilder (2-0, 2 KOs), the 29-year-old younger brother of Deontay, will be making his third appearance in the ring. The Wilder family will be the bookends of the night, as Marcellos will be the first fight of the evening. It is unconfirmed as of this writing, but the younger Wilder may be in his first televised fight on Showtime’s undercard show that will start at 3:45 Central.
Marsellos shares a lot of similarities to his brother. His athletic career was on the football field, not the boxing ring, after high school. The younger Wilder played football for Jackson State in Mississippi where he was a Wide Receiver and excelled for four years. He came to boxing after ending his career in 2011 and has worked his way up from the amateur ranks. Like Deontay, Marsellos is beginning his professional career with knockouts, beating both of his opponents with early stoppages since his professional debut in May of this year.
Marsellos will be fighting David Damore of Arizona, a journeyman who will be in the ring for the tenth time. Though Wilder will be heavily favored in the cruiserweight clash, he will need to advance his skills to move up the ranks.
As far as Wilder’s past goes, there will be two former challengers for Deontay Wilder’s belt. Chris Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs), who Wilder dispatched in a July 2016 fight in Birmingham, will be fighting in his hometown of Los Angeles for the first time since 2014. He will take on Maurenzo Smith of Houston. Arreola has not been in the ring since the Wilder fight over two years ago and will be attempting something of a comeback.
Deontay’s last challenger Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) will also be on the card. After losing to Wilder in March, Ortiz rebounded with a knockout in July and will be fighting Travis Kaufman (32-2, 23 KOs). Ortiz is positioning himself to challenge for another title shot by not ducking any opposition after the earlier setback.
Another possible future heavyweight challenger will be on display as 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) of Great Britain continues his climb in the heavyweight division as he goes for his 7th straight knockout against Joe Hanks (23-2, 15 KOs). It is unusual to see a prospect take on such an accomplished fighter this early in their career, but Joyce has something to prove. He won the British Heavyweight Title in just his fourth professional fight, breaking a 106-year-old record. He no doubt has set his sights on Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight Belt.
These fights lead to the extraordinary main event (8 PM, Showtime PPV, $74.95), but it is a surprisingly stacked card for the heavyweight division in addition to Deontay Wilder’s brother’s bout. It will not shock anyone if we do see a future Deontay Wilder opponent Saturday night.