For boxing's heavyweight division to return to glory, it'll need a hand from Deontay Wilder-his right hand, to be precise. On Jan. 17, Wilder won a unanimous decision over WBC champ Bermane Stiverne to become the first American heavyweight titleholder since Shannon Briggs in 2006. Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) took up boxing at the relatively late age of 19, but he won Olympic bronze just three years later, in 2008. And he's been on a path of destruction to the top ever since. "When I feel the structure of my opponent's bone in my fist, I know it'll be a good night," he says. Here's a close-but not too close-look at Wilder's straight right.
"To find an opening I fake with a left jab and sometimes I land it. So I keep my feet spread shoulder width apartm so when I do throw the punch, my back foot will twist at the end."
"The power comes all from my hips and legs so I keep my hips in position so I can twist and put my whole body into this punch."
"I like to keep my guard maybe an inch in front of me for proper positioning. My hips move first, then my back foot automatically twists as my right hand starts to come forward."
"Everything is in motion, so now I want to hit my target. Since I'm 6-7 and my arms are long, I don't lean forward. This keeps me protected from any counter."
"I aim for the head, going straight down the middle. My right shoulder guards my chin as my hand rotates. My back foot helps me sit into the punch. A perfect right-hand KO, baby!"