Dillian Whyte vs. Bermane Stiverne possible, winner faces Wilder
By Scott Gilfoid: With Alexander Povetkin looking like he’s out of the running for a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, #2 WBC Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) could wind up facing #10 WBC Dillian Whyte (20-1, 15 KOs) in a WBC heavyweight eliminator match. This is what the 28-year-old Whyte is saying on his social media site.
If Whyte is going to be the one fighting in an eliminator, he would be leapfrogging over a lot of higher ranked contenders in the World Boxing Council’s rankings in order for him to get that title shot. Would be that fair? Whoever said boxing was fair? The sport isn’t conducted like normal sports where you have teams that fight their way to the top by beating good teams.
“Just hearing I might be fighting BSTIVERNE as a final eliminator for Bronze Bomber,” said Whyte on his social media site. “Let’s get it made, Eddie Hearn [promoter].”
This is surprising to Gilfoid. You would think that Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn would do the right thing and put him back in with Dereck Chisora after the controversy of Whyte’s recent very questionable 12 round split decision win over him on December 10 on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
A lot of boxing fans felt that Chisora did enough to rate the win. It looked to me like Chisora won the fight by 9 rounds to 3. I thought the scoring by the judges that worked the fight was dreadful. Chisora was given almost no credit for the many rounds in which he was landing at will and hurt Whyte.
There was talk that Whyte and Chisora would potentially fight each other on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko card on April 29. I never believed that Chisora and Whyte would fight each other again. I figured that Hearn wouldn’t take a chance of putting Whyte back in with Chisora and risk having the judges get the decision right the second time around by giving the win to Chisora.
Whyte’s win over Chisora, as controversial as it was, put him in the picture for a title shot against Wilder. I don’t see Hearn risking Whyte by having him fight Chisora again, because he would likely lose that fight. If Whyte loses to Chisora, then that means no title shot against Deontay. That’s why I see Hearn looking to match Whyte against Stiverne in a WBC eliminator if the WBC orders those two fighters to fight in the WBC eliminator.
Whyte would have to be favored over Stiverne if that fight takes place. Stiverne doesn’t have a high workrate like Dereck Chisora. Stiverne has a good jab and he’s a bigger puncher than either of those guys. If Stiverne lands one of his heavy shots on the button of Whyte, he could knock him out. I just don’t know if Stiverne will let his hands go enough for him to get the win. I also don’t know if Stiverne would win a decision if he’s forced to fight in the UK as the visiting fighter. If Hearn is the main promoter for the card, then you would have to imagine the fight will take place in the UK. That would put Stiverne in the position where he might need a knockout in order to win because the crowd would be on Whyte’s side.
The WBC’s current top 10 rankings for the heavyweight division are as follows:
1. Alexander Povetkin
2. Bermane Stiverne
3. Kubrat Pulev
4. Johann Duhaupas
5. Bryant Jennings
6. Artur Szpilka
7. Gerald Washington
8. Carlos Tapia
9. Mauriusz Wach
10. Dillian Whyte
The 38-year-old Stiverne hasn’t fought in an entire year since his narrow 10 round unanimous decision win over Derric Rossy in November 2015. Stiverne was shockingly knocked down in that fight in the 1st round. He did come back to get the win by the scores 96-93, 96-93 and 95-94.
However, those close scores might be an indication that Stiverne might be well past his best at this point in his career. Rossy is little more than a journeyman. Stiverne should have been able to beat him with ease if he had anything left. It’s possible that the punishment Stiverne took in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to the talented Deontay in January 2015 might have taken something out of him.
That was a punishing fight for Stiverne. The reality is he’s a 38-year-old fighter who has fought just once in the last two years. When you fight that infrequently, something has got to give. You’re not going to get great performances. It’s not just that. Stiverne has been fighting infrequently since 2012. Stiverne fought once in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In 2016, Stiverne didn’t fight at all. That’s not good. He’s fought five times in the last four years. Whyte has been a lot busier during that same time frame. In comparison, Whyte has fought 18 times in the last four years. There’s a huge imbalance as far who has been the busier guy. If you were to pick a time to fight Stiverne, it would be right now with him having fought only once in the last two years.
Frankly, I don’t think Stiverne has much left in the tank at this point in his career. With Stivern’s two long periods outside of the ring in the last two years, I don’t see how or why the WBC still has him ranked at No.2 with their organization. Stiverne didn’t fight for 10 months after his loss to Deontay Wilder in January 2015.
Stiverne didn’t fight again until November 2015 in beating Rossy by a close 10 round decision. Since that fight, Stiverne hasn’t fought 13 months. How in the world does a fighter keep his ranking with the WBC when he’s been that inactive? It makes no sense to me at all. I think Stiverne should be out of the top 15 due to his inactivity.
I think Whyte has unfinished business with Chisora still. I think the judges got that decision wrong. It was a bad performance from Whyte. I don’t think Whyte should be moving forward off his questionable win over Chisora to fight in an eliminator bout against Stiverne. If the WBC wants an eliminator to take place, then they should put #2 Stiverne with #3 WBC Kubrat Pulev.