Naysayers will harp on the negative; his opponent was out of shape, fought just once in over thirty months, only showed up for the paycheck, etc. Haters gonna hate. Fact of the matter is, “The Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder beat the brakes off Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne, the only man to have ever lasted the distance with him, previously. That being said, it took less than three full minutes, for Wilder (39-0, 38 KO’s) to assert himself as Boxing’s preeminent knockout artist in the heavyweight division, leaving fans not only hoping for, but Demanding a date with Anthony Joshua. The beatdown commenced at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, televised by SHOWTIME.
During the build-up, Wilder spoke openly of his desire to permanently hurt Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KO’s), for his audacity in going 12 rounds in 2015, his level of inactivity since that bout and the fact yet another foe tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs, forcing “The Bronze Bomber” into settling for a lesser opponent. Previously, 2004 Olympic gold medalist and former WBA heavyweight champion, Alexander Povetkin, tested dirty, costing Deontay a fight purse upwards of 3 million dollars. More recently, Cuban national star, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz was found to be juicing as well. Ultimately, for all the complaints of Wilder’s resume, the fact he’s done everything within his power to face Povetkin (in his home country of Russia, no less) and the high risk/low reward Ortiz speaks volumes about Deontay’s willingness to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. It also speaks to the level of concern his opponents have, consistently ingesting banned substances at the thought of sharing a prize ring with him.
If there’s a level beyond pissed off, that’s where Wilder was mentally, stepping over the top rope to enter the ring. So confident and sure was Deontay of victory, he promised to retire if Stiverne beat him. No worries on that front. Wilder immediately took control, forcing Bermane on his backfoot with hard, angry jabs. Wilder moved his arms demonstratively, giving Stiverne something new to consider, along with briefly feinting attacks from both stances. By mid-round, Bermane was forcing Deontay to give ground, yet evading the left jab was a constant concern. Stiverne landed a jab of his own to Wilder’s chest, who pounded his heart in response, then uncorked a 1-2 and another which dropped Stiverne hard. He climbed to his feet clearly hurt, shaking his head “no”, but Wilder smelled blood. Deontay defiantly kept both hands at his sides as Bermane approached, then fired wild haymakers, sending the Haitian back to the canvas, courtesy of a looping right hook. Refusing to let Stiverne off the hook, Wilder bum rushed him, faking left, then right, launching a left hook-straight right-left hook combo that left Stiverne semi-conscious, legs folded under him. He leaned forward onto his knees and collapsed face first, as referee, Arthur Mercante, Jr. waved the fight over at 2:59 of the very 1st round.
Animated as always, Wilder looked into the camera and declared war on Anthony Joshua. Wilder made it clear he prefers going straight to a Joshua bout, as opposed to Dillian Whyte (who Joshua’s promoter prefers Deontay face first). He’s even willing to go to England to make it happen. It wasn’t pretty, but it was violent, and Wilder knocked him out. Sure, Stiverne came in at a career high 254 ¾ pounds, but Wilder knocked him out anyways. As usual, Wilder’s punching technique left a lot to be desired, but he still knocked him out. Whatever “but’s” you’d like to attach to Deontay Wilder, his resume or his performances, at the end of the day, he still knocks them out. All of them.