Deontay Wilder, Caleb Plant initiate comeback season after devastating KOs
The Barclay Center in Brooklyn on Saturday was the home for two of boxing's most devastating knockouts. Both Caleb Plant and Deontay Wilder had a lot to prove on Saturday with former world champions coming off of losses. Plant’s loss came to Canelo Alvarez and Wilder’s coming at the hands of Tyson Fury. Even though the storylines were the same, the fight build up was completely different.
Plant fought his bitter rival former two-time super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell. Dirrell claimed he hated Plant for weeks leading up to the fight calling him an assortment of cuss words. Even during the fight, the two exchanged mocking banter in the ring. This fight contained more body slams and choke slams than a Brock Lesnar and Roman Rheins Wrestlemania match. The two were battling in the center of the ring in the ninth round. Plant was firmly in control. Plant unleashed what is probably the best left hook he’s ever thrown. Plant hit Dirrell on the chin, putting Dirrell down and out instantly. The referee could have counted to 500 and Dirrell wouldn’t have beaten the count. After the KO, Plant stood over a lifeless Dirrell doing the gravedigger dance.
As for Wilder, Wilder fought his very good friend in Robert Helenius. Helenius and Wilder have a long history together. Helenius helped Wilder prepare for Fury. Wilder told stories of how Helenius came to his house, and they would have good long-life talks so this fight was more of a friendlier fight than the Plant fight. However, there was nothing friendly about the ending. Helenius pursued Wilder, who backed into a neutral corner. Wilder threw a short right hand and it hit Helenius on the nose. Helenius went down instantly and didn’t move for several scary moments. The knockout came at 2:57 of the first.
“I was making him reach,” Wilder said. “I was trying to keep my distance. Robert, he has the heart of a champion. I knew what he was capable of. I didn’t take him lightly at all. I didn’t take him for granted. I could look in his eyes [and see] that he really wanted this. He wanted to be the first [of his] countrymen to be the heavyweight champion of the world. With that being said, they’re going to come. I knew that from Robert and so I had to take my time.”
Wilder also made mention in his post-fight press conference that he was willing to fight any top heavyweight. He said he was ready although he mentioned unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk by name as a person he wanted to fight. Other names that were brought up were Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua. Regardless of who Wilder fights next, he made an emphatic statement that he was back.