By Mike Smith: WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo ‘El Terremoto’ Santa Cruz is expecting WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder to struggle in his next title defense against former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on December 1. Santa Cruz believes that the size, movement, craftiness and reach of the 6’9″ Fury will cause Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) a lot of problems and lead to him losing the fight.
Santa states that Wilder has stamina problems, and he’s been fighting shorter fighters during his career. Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) being a lot bigger than the guys that Wilder is used to fighting, it might be too much for him to handle.
”It’s going to be difficult because Fury is a difficult fighter,” said Santa Cruz to Fighthype. “He moves a lot. He’s very tall. The other fighters Wilder has fought are short, so he was able to use his reach and to be able to attack them. But Fury is going to move and make it difficult to catch him, but I don’t think Fury has the power to hurt Wilder, and Wilder does have the power to hurt Fury. If Wilder catches him, he could hurt him and drop him,” Santa Cruz said.
Deontay, 32, has fought a number of taller fighters during his career. Santa Cruz likely hasn’t studied Wilder’s past fights to know of the many tall fighters he’s beaten.
Here is a list of the taller fighters Wilder has beaten during his 10-year pro career:
– Audley Harrison: 6’5″
– Gerald Washington: 6’6″
– Johann Duhaupas: 6’5″
– Eric Molina: 6’4″
– Siarhei Liakhovich: 6’4″
– Nicolai Firtha: 6’6″
– Kelvin Price: 6’7″
– Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz: 6’4″
Wilder has faced at least eight tall heavyweights during his career with three of them at least 6’6″, which is tall for a heavyweight. If you look at the fights in which Wilder has faced guys 6’6″ or taller, he’s looked better than when he’s fighting shorter guys. It’ possible that Wilder’s punching power is more formidable when he’s facing a guy close to his own height than when he’s fighting a shorter guy that he needs to punch down on.
“A decision is going to be really hard,” Santa Cruz said. “Plus, Wilder gasses out. If Fury boxes him and doesn’t let Wilder catch him, he could win a decision like that, but it’s a really difficult fight,” Santa Cruz said.
Wilder hasn’t gassed out in any of his fights. It sounds like Santa Cruz has Wilder confused with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The British heavyweight is known for having stamina problems. With 39 knockouts in his 40 fights, it’s hard to know what particular fight Santa Cruz is talking about when he says Wilder has stamina problems. Obviously if Wilder has 39 KOs in his 40 fights, it suggests that his stamina is perfectly fine.
Most boxing fans are predicting a quick knockout win for Wilder on December 1. They see Fury as being a sitting duck for Wilder to destroy on the night. Although it would be interesting if Fury does pull off an upset, its highly unlikely