Middlesboro resident and Jamaican native Owen “What the Heck” Beck will take part in his 40th professional boxing bout on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Beck (29-10 with 20 knockouts) will fight the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist “The Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder (22-0 with 22 knockouts) in what has been dubbed as the “Brawl in the Mall”. The fight is set for eight rounds.
Beck, 36, is coming off two back-to-back loses. In Oct., Beck fought a hard fight against Artur Szpilka before a cut caused the referee to stop the fight. In Feb., Beck fought in a four-round bout against Sergey Rozhnov. The fight went all four rounds. Beck lost the fight by Unanimous Decision.
Beck will head into the fight Saturday behind his new trainer, Bell County native Randy Venable. Using some new techniques that are unique to Venable, Beck plans to surprise all his doubters. Venable has referred to Beck as “the toughest and bravest fighter I know”.
In 2006, Beck fought for the WBA World Heavyweight against then champion Nikolay Valuev. Beck lost that fight by technical knockout in the third round. Beck enters the event with well over 100 amateur fights under his belt.
Wilder, 26, is coming off a first round knockout win against Jesse Oltmanns in May. According to al.com, Wilder is looking for his 23rd knockout with 14 of his previous knockouts coming in the first round. Wilder considers this fight to be a step up in competition for him.
According to al.com, the fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view. The fight is taking place in Wilder’s hometown, which many few to be an advantage for him.