At Last: Stiverne vs. Wilder

By Robert Ecksel on December 15, 2014
At Last: Stiverne vs. Wilder
It's ironic that Don King, the patriot’s patriot, is promoting the Haitian-born champion.

Any man who wants other men to bow down, whatever his accomplishments, is a hard man to root for…

It has been a long wait, but Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs), aka the Bronze Bomber, the undefeated knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will finally face someone capable of hitting back.

On January 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wilder meets reigning and defending WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs), from Las Vegas by way of La Plaine, Haiti, and it should be a good scrap (or as a Showtime press release describes it, “a gripping, intense encounter for as long as it lasts”).

There’s no love lost between Wilder and Stiverne. Wilder thinks Stiverne is a paper champion, a plodding small fry of no consequence. Stiverne thinks Wilder, despite his towering size and pristine record, has done next to nothing to deserve this shot.

“Don’t blink on January 17,” says Stiverne. “I am the heavyweight champion of the world and nobody is going to beat me. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to making a statement. Talk is cheap. I do my talking in the ring.”

Wilder also does his talking in the ring. If he defeats Stiverne, he’ll be the first American heavyweight since Shannon Briggs (yes, that Shannon Briggs) to hold the heavyweight crown.

“I’m expecting a short night because we have bad blood,” Wilder says. “I really want to hurt this guy and I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I want to show him this is no joke, this is real. This is business. This is the hurt game and my power is real. I told him that I’ll whoop his ass and I’m going to keep my promise.

“Now I can make all my dreams come true, I can make it a reality. America is yearning for a heavyweight world champion. We haven’t had a real one since the days of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Everyone just sits back and remembers the glory days. America has been waiting for their champion and I’ve arrived.”

Speaking of boxing’s glory days, Stiverne’s promoter, Don King, who promoted some of the greatest heavyweight fights of the last 40 years, says that the excitement is back.

“This will be a momentous day in heavyweight boxing history,” declares the Hall of Fame promoter. “Just more than 40 years removed from the Rumble in The Jungle with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, the heavyweights, WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder, will ‘Return to Glory’ live at MGM Grand on Showtime. The little guys in boxing are great but it’s the heavyweights that have always excited fans the most. Bermane, he’s a knockout artist just like Mike Tyson. Wilder, he talks trash but is a good fighter, too. This is a must-see fight. The heavyweights are back and ready to ‘Return to Glory.’”

Thank you, Don, for those stirring words.

It’s somewhat ironic that King, the patriot’s patriot, is promoting the Haitian-born champion. But if Wilder KOs Stiverne, King will step over his fallen fighter to get to the new champ, just as he did when George Foreman destroyed Joe Frazier in Jamaica.

“When I knock Stiverne out I don’t want to hear any whispers,” Wilder says. “I don’t want to hear people say that he was a bum. I want the world to bow down and praise the heavyweight champion of the world. They have to finally admit that I’m just that good.”

Any man who wants other men to bow down, whatever his accomplishments, is a hard man to root for.

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  1. Oscar S Ramirez 11:29am, 12/28/2014

    Is the Eric “Drummer boy” Mollina fight on the same card will it be televised? Someone please comment on this.

  2. Cyrus "Shades of Hades" Daruwalla 06:45am, 12/20/2014

    Guys, It has to be Wilder on this one. Stiverne has not fought anyone but the limited Arreola and in the second Arreola was roughhousing Stiverne all the way, but he got cuckolded in the sixth. Ray Austin is a name but little more than a modest journeyman. Wilder has the reach, the power, the experience with more professional fights and a amateur pedigree of high standing.

  3. Jack 04:15pm, 12/19/2014

    You can always tell those guys (NY Irish) that have lived near the coast, they are very familiar with “cheap beach chairs”. Me too, I was born in Atlantic City LOL!!!! Good observation NYI.

  4. NYIrish 03:43pm, 12/19/2014

    From what I’ve seen of Wilder he seems to have a balance problem. He also does not move his head much. He has never gone more than four rounds. Wilder makes mistakes and has trouble keeping his feet under him in a four rounder. He may unravel when he begins to tire.
    Stiverne is more used to deep water. He’s gone 12 and has functioned in late rounds. He’s cute and wastes little movement. When he tags Wilder the taller man will go down in a tangle like a cheap beach chair.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:31pm, 12/16/2014

    Wladimir put both Richard Towers and Wilder on their asses in sparring when they got too damn frisky….in the case of Wilder probably trying to sneak one in so he could post it on Facebook.

  6. Mike 03:49pm, 12/16/2014

    I like Wilder in this one. I don’t think Stiverne will be able to get to him, with the reach advantage that Wilder has, and Stiverne needs to get inside to do any damage, here. Wilder’s right hand is the real deal, no matter who he has faced. I was at the Kelvin Price fight, and after Wilder hit him the first time, Price looked afraid. Stiverne didn’t look like he was in very good shape against Arreola, so if Stiverne doesn’t get on The Bronze Bomber early, I take Wilder by KO after the 8th.

  7. steve silver 03:14pm, 12/16/2014

    Wilder will get knocked out if the other guy keeps him moving back. Maybe Wilder has improved since the last time I saw him fight but I doubt it. He does not know what to do when backing up. He tightens up and looks lost and confused.

  8. Robert Ecksel 02:38pm, 12/16/2014

    The real test for Wilder is how he’ll react when he gets hit. I look at him and think of Charley Goldman’s immortal words: “You know them tall fighters, the ones with the long, skinny necks? You end up spending more on smelling salts than food for ‘em.”

  9. Mel 01:48pm, 12/16/2014

    I may not like Wilder’s mouth and although I agree with everyone his opponents have not been the “best”, this guy is a beast in the ring, 32 wins 32 knockouts, maybe they were all slums however he did legitimately knock them out. Saying that he will knock out Stiverne is too strong a statement because Stiverne is no slum. Most heavyweight fights don’t last 12 rounds but I honestly feel Wilder is a well rounded fighter that could go all 12, Stiverne I have doubts about. I predict unlike everyone else, Wilder will get the knockout possibly by a body shot after the 8th round.

  10. Koolz 10:34am, 12/16/2014

    all Stiverne has to do is get on the inside and the fight is his by KO!

  11. Darrell 10:09pm, 12/15/2014

    I sincerely hope Wilder’s O goes too…...

  12. Tex Hassler 04:10pm, 12/15/2014

    Wilder should get a good pay day but not a win. At least that is my opinion.

  13. nicolas 02:52pm, 12/15/2014

    I guess Jack, could really say this is the heavyweight championship of the Americas. In some way it is really needed, and certainly the most important fight between two men from the America’s since Holyfield-Moorer. Of course Lennox Lewis did fight for Canada in the Olympics. My problem with Stiverne is that in the last two years the only one he has beaten twice is Arreola. He has not been very busy. I guess the question on Wilder is he better than Arreola at this stage, a fighter I really felt could only beat B fighters, and never was able to defeat a higher caliber of opponent.

  14. Jack 12:53pm, 12/15/2014

    Just a note here: We all know who is the “Real” Heavyweight Champion of the World until someone proves differently!!!

  15. Jack 12:46pm, 12/15/2014

    Finally, Wilder will face an opponent who can actually fight a little. Unless this fight is somehow “arranged”, which I doubt, Wilder will be 32-1 on the night of January 17th. I have said this for 3 years now, as soon as he steps up and fights a “live” opponent his O will go!!!! There is a reason why his brain trust has not stepped him up yet. What prospect that had any value, fights for 6 years against B level and below fighters????? There is a definitive reason why, he is not a good fighter!!! He has power, mainly in his right hand and that is about it. He is sorely lacking in solid boxing skills and movement. If you don’t agree, come January 17th, I’ll see you back here and see if my assessment was correct. The last heavyweight fight I felt this strongly about was Michael Spinks getting stopped in 90 seconds against Mike Tyson, my prediction then was: the first solid combination that Tyson lands, knocks Spinks OUT!!!! We all know how that ended.

  16. Eric 08:57am, 12/15/2014

    How many people on the street would recognize the name, Bermane Stiverne? Stiverne is the heavyweight champion in his world only.

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