By Przemek Garczarczyk
“Wilder isn’t Holyfield, he makes a lot of errors,” said Fiodor Łapin, the esteemed Polish trainer who worked corners with – among others – current top cruiserweight Krzysztof Głowacki, former WBC/IBF cruiserweight champion “Diablo” Włodarczyk, heavyweight contender “The Pin” Szpilka and now works with Andrzej Wawrzyk.
Preparing Wawrzyk for the WBC title fight against the undefeated Deontay Wilder, Łapin is fairly confident… but he also knows how big the challenge is.
“It’s a great challenge for Andrzej, for me, for our promotional group,” said Łapin when Polsat TV, the leading Polish network, visited Wawrzyk’s training camp at the KnockOut gym in Warszawa. “Fighting for the world championship in the United States, in front of millions, is a dream of every boy who ever picked up the gloves. We have to win.
“When the Głowacki-Huck bout was announced, lots of experts also dismissed Głowacki’s chances but boxing is an unpredictable sport. Huge upsets happen all the time. Andrzej has a chance to be a part of boxing history and we will do everything to make it a reality. What’s needed is hard work, mental strength and, I think in this particular case very important, Wawrzyk’s maturity. Andrzej now and years back is a different person.”
When asked about current preparations, Łapin said: “Right now we are working on strength and conditioning, speed comes later. Anyone saying that Wawrzyk is not a hard puncher is greatly mistaken. When we add speed to power, we will be flying to Alabama with big hopes.
And for Wilder’s place among heavyweight greats? “Wilder? To be politically correct, I should say that he’s the best… but I don’t think so. Anthony Joshua and Wilder are on the same level, but Deontay, for now, is a very glorified fighter without real tests. Wilder makes a lot of errors, he’s not Wladimir Klitchko or Evander Holyfield in their prime.”
The Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) vs. Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) World Boxing Council heavyweight championship bout will be the main event of a February 25 Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes telecast fro the Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing in association with Bruno Event Team.