Deontay Wilder defends his WBC heavyweight championship against Artur Szpilka at the Barclays Center in New York on Saturday, 16 January.
Where to watch
Wilder vs Szpilka is available to watch live on Sky Sports 1. Programming gets underway at 3am GMT Sunday, 17 January, with the main event expected to begin at around 4am.
It's a new day in the heavyweight division. Ever since Tyson Fury ended Wladimir Klitschko's 11-year reign of dominance, the Ukrainian is no longer casting a shadow across the division. While Fury deservedly reigns as IBF, WBO and WBA champion, he will not be considered the immovable object Klitschko once was. That means for anyone vying to dethrone the Manchester-born fighter, the stakes are now higher than ever.
While a rematch between Fury and Klitschko awaits, Deontay Wilder has wasted little time in underlining his intention to silence the new champion. The Briton even says he will be in attendance in New York on Saturday night as the reigning WBC champion makes the third defence of his title against Artur Szpilka, who is aiming to become the second man to go the distance with the Bronze Bomber.
Wilder's professional record of 35 fights, 35 wins and 34 knockouts is formidable as they come, but since winning the belt off Bermane Stiverne in 2014 – his only fight to go to the cards – his defences have not exactly blown anyone away.
While he stopped Eric Molina in the ninth and Johann Duhaupas in the 11th, both fights were mismatches where Wilder was tested more than he perhaps should of. Cautious management of the 30-year-old has constantly been noted throughout his rise and while his title victory over Stiverne was rightfully lauded, some questions have remained unanswered. For a man of his considerable power and outstanding athleticism, the Alabama native has so far been lined up against people he was expected to flatten. In 26-year-old Szpilka, he may get the examination he needs. But the real drama on Saturday night may be in what is said post-fight with Fury in the front row.
What they have said
Deontay Wilder: "I've heard those words before – 'I'm going to be the first' [Szpilka's claim he will become the first ever Polish heavyweight champion] – and everyone who said they were going to be the first have failed by the hands of me," Wilder said. "I'm enjoying being the WBC heavyweight champion of the world and I'm not looking forward to losing my baby ever.
"I'm looking forward to adding to the collection, actually. She's kind of needing a little company so there are a lot more belts out there and that's what I'm looking forward to.
"But I thank Artur for taking the opportunity and I always like guys who want to be the first in their country to do something. I'm big on making history and if they can do that is a great deal but when it's up to me, and it's me and you in the ring, you've got a chance – but you really don't have a chance."
Artur Szpilka: "This is the most important part of this fight for me, not even to become a world champion. It's not about that. It's about to be part of the history – becoming the first Polish heavyweight champion," Szpilka said. "To be the one when, even after I'm going to be dead, people are going to say, 'Oh, this was the Szpilka guy, the guy who was the first Polish heavyweight champion.' This is what I want to do, and this is what I'm going to prove to everybody on (Saturday).
"I can't wait. This is so important because the Polish people have supported me so well. I know I will be a hero after the fight. I know it and I believe it."
Wilder: 35 fights, 35 wins (34 via knockout), 0 defeats
(W) Johann Duhaupas – technical knockout – September 2015
(W) Eric Molina – knockout – June 2015
(W) Bermane Stiverne – unanimous decision – January 2015
Szpilka: 21 fights, 20 wins (15 via knockout), 1 defeat
(W) Yasmany Consuegra – referee technical decision – August 2015
(W) Manuel Quezada – referee technical decision – June 2015
(W) Ty Cobb – technical knockout – April 2015
Wilder has yet to be truly tested since winning his championship and that will continue to be the case on Saturday. Wilder win via technical knockout.