Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Stiverne defends WBC heavyweight title against Wilder
When Vitali Klitschko vacated the WBC heavyweight title to pursue a career in politics, Bermane Stiverne knocked out Chris Arreola to become the first Haitian to capture a world heavyweight title. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and for Stiverne to accomplish something so great, it’s truly inspiring.
“To be a role model to the kids & people in Haiti is all motivation to me,” Stiverne said.
Scheduled to make his first defense of his title, Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) will battle undefeated 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deyontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) on Saturday, January 17, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. SHOWTIME will televised live! Beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
This fight is significant on many different levels. Stiverne is the first Haitian to defend a world heavyweight title. Wilder, the last U.S. Olympian to win a medal, hopes to become the first African-American to win a world heavyweight title since Shannon Briggs last held the WBO title in 2007. Wilder has a good chance to become a champion because of his size (6’ 7,” 250 pounds) and power.
However, Wilder really hasn’t fought anyone significant. Not even Stiverne recognize any of the guys Wilder has knocked out.
“He’s fought nobody, I always train like I’m fighting the best out there,” Stiverne added. As far as a game plan, all I can say is ‘Don’t Blink!’. Watch the action on Jan 17. I can show you better than I can tell you.”
In his last 13 bouts Stiverne (12-0-1, 10 KOs) has displayed relentless power. He is simply punishing guys to a pulp. Stiverne knocked out Ray Austin before twice beating Chris Arreola (W 12, KO 6).
Since suffering his lone loss in July 2007, Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs), training out of Las Vegas, Nev., has emerged as one of the world’s most feared and destructive heavyweights. In his last 13 starts, the first-ever Haiti-born boxer to own a heavyweight crown is 12-0-1, with 10 of the victories coming inside the distance. Of his 21 knockouts, 18 came inside three rounds, with 14 of his knockouts coming in the initial three minutes.
Wilder of Tuscaloosa, AL, has never fought past the fourth round at any point in his career. He has fought professionally for six years. In 32 professional bouts, Wilder has fought a combined 58 rounds, averaging 1.8 rounds per fight. Wilder has 18 first-round KOs and 8 second-round stoppages.
Wilder hasn’t fought anyone significant and will continue to be criticized until he defeats someone worthy like a Stiverne. Wilder is determined to change the perception that he has fought tomato cans.
“I have a chance to shock the world and I just can’t wait for it,” Wilder said. “I don’t want anyone to make excuses to me. I have heard nothing but excuses for my 32 wins by KO and when I get 33, I don’t want to hear anything about it. I don’t want people to discredit me anymore. But the time has come to change that.”
The winner of Stiverne-Wilder will be recognized by the boxing public as the lead challenger to unified IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko. Should Klitschko fight the winner of Stiverne-Wilder, the winner will have unified ALL of the heavyweight title belts and that there will be only ONE recognized world heavyweight champion.
Klitschko isn’t worried because; he is rumored to fight Bryant Jennings in April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If Klitschko is successful, he will then prepare for an early-fall showdown against the undefeated mammoth 6’ 8,” 265-pound Tyson Fury.
Therefore, Stiverne and Wilder must focus on winning that WBC heavyweight title on January 19, 2015.
“I have no doubt at the end of this fight my hand will be raised as the new heavyweight champion of the world.” Wilder said.
Tickets, priced at $500, $350, $250, $125 and $50, are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.