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Heavyweight Action The Focus Of Fights This Saturday

The big boys are the highlight of the top level bouts that occur this weekend with two pairings of interest which happen on the same card in America.

On the double bill at Barclays Center in New York, two of the four major world titles at heavyweight will be argued over as WBC kingpin Deontay WIlder defends against challenger Artur Szpilka while the vacant IBF crown will be fought over by two undefeated contenders, Charles Martin and Vyacheslav Glazkov.

Wilder, 35-0 (34), has retained his belt twice since lifting it a year ago from Bermane Stiverne, who is the only opponent of Wilder's to have gone the distance. Standing 6'7, possessing very quickly reflexes and a lethal right hand, the 30 year old American presents a formidable combination of reach, speed and power that no rival to date could overcome.

Will Szpilka prove to be any different? The level of competition Wilder has faced so far hasn't featured any truly elite fighters and Poland's Szpilka, 20-1 (15), continues that trend.

The 6'3 tall, 26 year old southpaw has shown promise so far but lost in a 10th round stoppage at the hands of Bryant Jennings two years ago and doesn't appear to be the fighter that will solve the puzzle Wilder presents.

But this is Boxing, the sport in which upsets take place all the time and if Szpilka does pull off an unlikely victory it will be because he found a way to exploit WIlder's deficiency in the fundamental skills department.

But, for that to take place, the challenger will have to prove that he can take the heavy punches of the champion and force Wilder to brawl on the inside, a very dangerous approach that is an all or nothing gamble.

Wilder will almost certainly prove to be too much for the man in the opposite corner on Saturday and probably won't be seriously tested until he meets former WBA titlist Alexander Povetkin later this year, probably in Russia.

The contest for the IBF strap on the undercard at Barclays Center sees a rather unknown commodity, the 29 year old American Martin, 22-0-1 (20), squaring off with the 31 year old former top Ukrainian amateur Glazkov, 21-0-1 (13).

A 6'5 tall southpaw with a long reach, Martin's record on paper looks great but he hasn't faced anyone aside from record-building opposition although he has held the NABO bauble over four defenses.

Glazkov hasn't met any world beaters in the ring but he has defeated two opponents of a higher grade than anyone Martin has on his record, former cruiserweight world champions Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham.

Will that mean anything once the bell rings? Of course not! But, there is one interesting aspect to consider with this contest.

The fact that Martin's offense is his defense should be the deciding factor on Saturday night.

The California resident has very fast hands, can really punch but drops his guard while he's throwing leather. No one that he's met in the ring has been able to make him pay for that mistake.

Glazkov is very well schooled and has a tight, compact style that merges offense with defense; the polar opposite of Murray's approach.

Martin will look to stand on the outside and catch the 6'3 tall Glazkov with quick-handed bombs and if he can do so, the Ukrainian will have to display a very sturdy jaw to weather the storm and get in close where he can take advantage of Martin's defensive shortcomings.

But, if Glazkov can slip those big shots, it is Martin that will have to prove he can take it as well as dish it out because he will definitely get hit if his adversary survives the first couple of rounds.

This one should be a very entertaining scrap that is unlikely to last the distance.

About Richard Eberline

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