By Edward Chaykovsky
World Boxing Council [WBC] heavyweight world champion Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) is officially set to defend his title in his home state for the fourth time, as he faces once-beaten challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs).
The fight will headline a big night of boxing as part of the next edition of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes - on Saturday, February 25, from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Wilder returns for the first time since suffering hand and bicep injuries during his eight round stoppage win over Chris Arreola in July, which was also televised by FOX.
But not everybody is happy with Wilder's selection of Wawrzyk. Most fans have no idea who Wawrzyk is. And the hardcore fans who do know him, only remember him as a boxer who Alexander Povetkin knocked out with ease in three rounds back in 2013.
Since that loss, the Polish heavyweight has picked up six wins in a row by knockout - but those wins are made up of unknown fighters and boxers who were way, way past their best - like Danny Williams, Frans Botha and Albert Sosnowski.
Despite being an overmatched opponent on paper, Wilder strongly feels the critics are being ignorant by completely writing Wawrzyk off.
“I don’t believe ‘You’re going to suck because I don’t know you’, that’s just the ignorance of your average boxing fan,” Wilder told Boxing News.
“Some of these fans feel like they got to have heard of the fighters or they got to be a known name – but sometimes you don’t know anything about the best fighters. If you look back from now until way back in time, most of the foreign guys you knew about until they made a big splash. Nobody knew who Manny Pacquiao was until he made a name for himself. I wish fans would stop criticising fighters because it takes a lot to get in the ring.”