Deontay Wilder to Defend WBC Heavyweight Title Against Artur Szpilka
Undefeated WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will make the third defense of his title against brawling Polish contender Artur Szpilka on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, live on Showtime at 8 PM.
The 12-round Showtime Championship Boxing main event between the power-punching Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs), of Wieliczka, Poland, will be the first heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn since James Jeffries knocked out James Corbett in the 23rd round on May 11, 1900, on Coney Island.
It will be Wilder’s first fight in New York and his ninth overall on Showtime Networks. Wilder is the first United States-born heavyweight champion since 2007.
“I’m excited about coming to New York City, I’m excited about displaying my talents and I’m excited about fighting at Barclays Center,” said Wilder. “I want to thank my opponent Artur Szpilka for accepting this opportunity that I’m giving him. I wish him luck – he’s going to need it. I look forward to winning over the Polish fans after I beat him. I know he’s a southpaw and he tends to give up when things get tough in the ring, going off the fight he had with Bryant Jennings. He doesn’t have heart when it gets tough. I look forward to giving the fans plenty of action and excitement on Jan. 16.”
The 6-foot-7 Wilder will be making his third title defense and fourth fight in 364 days. The 30-year-old won the WBC belt with a unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne on Jan. 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, in his first professional fight to go past the fourth round.
Wilder successfully defended the belt against Eric Molina (KO 9) last June 13 and most recently against Johann Duhaupas (TKO 11) on Sept. 26. Both of the title defenses took place in his home state of Alabama.
The last heavyweight champion to fight four times in 12 months was Lennox Lewis in 2000-01. Lewis was also the last undisputed heavyweight champion.
“I’m looking forward to being the next undisputed heavyweight champion and the most active heavyweight champion in history,” Wilder said. “I’m also active once I get into the ring. In my last fight, I landed an average of 30 of the 53 punches that I threw each round. That was more than double what Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko landed, combined.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Warriors Boxing and Sferis Knockout Promotions, start at $25, not including applicable fees, and are on sale Monday, December 14 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.