Last night came full circle for Deontay Leshun Wilder as the WBC heavyweight champion retained his belt with a vicious knockout of challenger Bermane Stiverne in the first round of the main event at the Barclays Center.
Deontay Wilder makes quick work of former world champ Bermane Stiverne.
Wilder (39-0, 38 KO’s) knocked Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) to the ground three times before referee Arthur Mercante halted the bout at 2:59 of the opening round, bringing Wilder his sixth successful title defense. After Stiverne took Wilder the distance in their January 2015 title bout, Wilder has now knocked out every single opponent that he has faced in his career and answered the question of if he is America's Heavyweight champion?
The answer is a resounding, "YES!"
“So much frustration, it just seemed like my career, it’s been crazy… so many guys using PED’s”, said Wilder, the only American heavyweight world champion. “I just want to prove that I am the best. I know I am the best but I want to prove I am the best.”
The fight was all Wilder from the outset with Stiverne never having a chance to prove his relevance in this rematch. It began with Stiverne first being knocked to the ground with a devastating one-two combination that caught the Haitian-Canadian on the nose. Seconds after Stiverne got back to his feet, Wilder pounced, landing another clean combination with a big left and an overhand right that sent a stunned Stiverne back to the canvas.
The final blow came in the waning moments of the opening round as Wilder stood before Stiverne ominously and landed four clean punches and a move that came straight out of Mortal Kombat to the face of an outclassed and bullied Stiverne. The defeat hearkened back to the press conference where Stiverne recounted Wilder's claim that he feared for Stiverne's life in the ring against him this time. After being the only opponent to go the distance with him, Wilder wanted to ensure that his record was flawless with punishing power and that foreshadowing was exactly what happened to the destroyed Stiverne.
FIGHTER OF THE WEEK: WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder rematches Bermane Stiverne-the only man he failed to finish in his career-on November 4, 2017 on Showtime at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. #WilderStiverne2 Visit PremierBoxingChampions.com for info. SIGN UP FOR FIGHT ALERTS: http://pbcham.ps/FightAlerts FOLLOW US: https://twitter.com/premierboxing https://instagram.com/premierboxing https://www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions
“You have to give props to Stiverne for getting in the ring,” said Wilder. “It takes a lot of courage and it takes a lot of pride to step in the ring with someone like me. We do what we have to do in the ring and at least he stepped up. He was a clean fighter.”
An emotional Wilder wasted no time calling out unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and for good reason; it is finally time. Wilder has been absolutely dominant but his career has been plagued with doubts about the quality of his opponents and cancelled fights due to rampant PED usage by his scheduled challengers.
But the overall malaise by the boxing public to accept him as their champion is now over.
“I’ve been waiting on that fight for a long time now,” said Wilder. “I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? I’ve been waiting for a long time. I know I’m the champion. I know I’m the best. Are you up for the test?
“A king doesn’t chase the peasants. A king takes kings. I want Joshua. If he doesn’t give me the fight we have other plans. The world wants Joshua, the world wants Wilder, I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby. No more dodging, no more excuses. Make the date, don’t wait.”
Yes, make the date Anthony Joshua. And make it either in Dallas Cowboys Stadium or London's Wembley, either of which can hold 90,000 to 100,000 seats because finally we can say the heavyweight division is back and America finally has its champion.