By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, expects heavyweight banger Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30KOs) to make a statement when he returns on March 15th at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Wilder will face his toughest opponent to date in the form of Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13KOs).
Scott, a 6'4 lanky fighter with boxing ability, went to a controversial draw with Vyacheslav Glazkov in June of last year - where many felt he won - and then saw himself a victim of a highly controversial six round TKO loss to Dereck Chisora in July - where Scott beat the count and seemed fine, but the referee still ruled it as a knockout. Scott returned last week in Washington and stopped Grover Young in two rounds.
Wilder-Scott will be part of Showtime televised tripleheader. In the main event, WBA/WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16KOs) will defend his titles against Mauricio Herrera (20-3, 7KOs). Also featured on the card, a crossroads rematch between former champions Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35KOs) of Mexico and Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30KOs) of Puerto Rico.
Wilder and Scott are good friends, but both promise to leave their friendship at home when they step into the ring.
Scott is a good a step up in competition and certainly a tougher outing than Wilder's past opposition. Ranked at number 3 under the WBC, Wilder is now being moved in position for a world title shot. Schaefer wants to get him that shot within the next twelve months, and that requires some tougher opponents, like Scott, to get him ready .
"Deontay Wilder, I predict that in the next twelve months he will be heavyweight champion of the world. Deontay realizes that being a heavyweight champion is being an ambassador to the sport. He was warmly embraced when he fought in England against Audley Harrison. Now we go to Puerto Rico and he wants to get the Puerto Rican fans behind him as well," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"I can assure you that no matter where he goes Deontay Wilder quickly makes fans because of winning personality, his charisma outside of the ring and then of course because of his skills inside of the ring. I'm sure the Puerto Ricans will embrace Deontay Wilder. Deontay will be in the toughest fight of his career, against Malik Scott. That's going to be a real fight and that's a real challenger."