When Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1) faced Deontay Wilder back in 2015, he was on top of the world. The Haitian-Canadian heavyweight was the WBC champion of the world who was putting some respect back on his promoter Don King’s name.
He bested Chris Arreola twice to gain the strap, first taking the unanimous decision and then stopping the hard-hitting Mexican in six rounds. Less than a year later, he would face the Olympic bronze medalist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama who was fighting for much more than himself.
Deontay Wilder’s (38-0) crusade to protect and provide for his daughter, who has spina bifida, has been well-documented and fully explains the fury he unleashes in each bout. When the “Bronze Bomber” met “B. Ware”, everything was on the line for both men; the belt, their pride and most importantly the rebirth of the heavyweight division.
Stiverne stalked and looked to place his signature power shots, but found Wilder’s jab and combos everywhere he went. The result was a 12-round unanimous decision, where all three judges felt that Wilder did enough to beat the champion handily. Stiverne revealed that he was nursing a debilitating injury and fought through the pain to his credit.
Final press conference ahead of the WBC Heavyweight World Championship rematch between Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne – Saturday, November 4 on a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live from Barclays Center.
“(Wilder) caught me sleeping last time,” said Stiverne at the final press conference. “Nobody is going to be sleeping this time. Im going to be on you all night. Its over for you. I feel great and I feel strong. There will be no excuses this time. I can guarantee you this. Im 100 percent this time.”
Wilder has been adamant that the 12 rounds he shared with Stiverne was a fluke and that it will not happen again. To Wilder, Stiverne is another step in the procession towards becoming the center point of boxing. With his first scheduled opponent, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz being scrapped due to yet another doping violation, Wilder is also on a crusade to clean up the filth that clouds his division.
Stiverne was the only man to survive the Alabama Slammer and avoid a knockout,” said Wilder during the final press conference. “When I knock him out, then nobody will be able to say they made it through against me. He was nothing but a lot of lumps and excuses after the first fight. The ups Ive celebrated, but the downs have hurt the most. Its all led me to here. All I ever wanted to do is prove to the world that I am the best. I am the baddest. I hit the hardest. I am the most feared. My record speaks for itself.”
Go behind the scenes and in the gym with heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne and unbeaten challenger Deontay Wilder as they prepare for their WBC Heavyweight World Championship bout. Get into the action with this ALL ACCESS full episode, and don’t miss the U.S.’s most anticipated heavyweight fight in a decade on Saturday, January 17 at 10PM ET/7PM PT on SHOWTIME.
In many ways, Stiverne represents the true underdog despite being a former champion and having the distinction of taking Wilder the distance. He is the lone fighter of true value still represented by the nefarious Don King and his survival means the survival of the old promotional brigade.
King, along with other promoters like Gary Shaw, are certainly on the ropes in relation to Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions, along with fighters turned promoters like Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions.
This just turned up into a whole other level,” said Wilder. “The ambulance better be ready. The medical teams better be ready. The referee better be ready. They better have that towel to be able to throw it in because every blow is going to mean something. This just got even more personal. Theres nothing different that he can bring to the table. He brought everything he could bring the first time. He brought all his tricks all his power. Theres nothing hes going to be able to do this time. The only thing hes going to be able to do is pick his spot on the ground where hes going to lay at.”
With Anthony Joshua heating up the playing field and selling out mega arena’s in the United Kingdom, American heavyweights have a lot of market share to make up in the global playing field. Stiverne is looking to beat Wilder to gain not only the strap, but the respect to carry American boxing to the next level.
Wilder will show up this Saturday to put a stop to his plans and prove his own elevated place in the heavyweight ranks.