Previewing Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder WBC heavyweight title fight
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) By Francis: Having watched the available tapes of both Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne, I have come to a conclusion that if they face each other, I favor Stiverne to win most likely by knockout. The reasons for my prediction are:
1. Stiverne seems to have more technical skill and boxing IQ than Wilder.
2. Stiverne has better defence.
3. Stiverne has faced far better opposition than Wilder, thus has more elite experience.
4. Stiverne has an iron chin and takes punches well. Deontay does not seem to have a good chin (watch his fight against Firtha). He was wobbled a few times by someone who has only 8 KOs in 21 wins.
5. Stiverne has a better inside game than Wilder. Wilder becomes uncomfortable if he cannot keep you at a distance to throw his windmill shots.
6. Stiverne is a very good counter puncher and can surprise any opponent with very big counter shots as we saw in his battles with Chris Arreola.
7. In the speed department, I would say that both seem to have equal hand-speed and will even each other out, but if a counter puncher has fast hands, he is capable of catching his opponent with a punch he won’t see, and such punches result in Knock outs.
8. In the power department, I will give the edge to Wilder because he seems to have freakish power. However, Stiverne packs a punch too and hits nearly as hard as Wilder.
9. Deontay has a huge edge in height and reach. So far he has been able to use it to his advantage but his previous opponents are nothing to write home about, so it is left for us to see how he will react if a technically sound fighter like Stiverne nullifies his reach and gets in the inside. Even short close range punches from Stiverne knocks his opponents out.
Watch his fights on YouTube. He does not need much space to land a power shot. In conclusion, I think it all boils down to if Stiverne can stand up to some of Wilder’s big shots because there is no way he will not be tagged even in the first few rounds.
I have the feeling that once Stiverne tags Wilder with a big shot, it will be all over because Wilder does not seem to have a good chin and is largely untested against good opposition. People seem to think that he tends to lay on the ropes too often in his fights. That was just his strategy for the Arreola fights to draw him in. He did not fight that way in his previous fights. He is smart enough to know that he cannot simply lay on the ropes taking bombs from Wilder for the entire 12 rounds. That may lead to serious health issues even if he survives it. I think the blueprint to beat Wilder is in his fight with Firtha. Firtha surprised him early and nearly dropped him though it was more of an off balance thing. Firtha, though the shorter man, bum rushed him and hit him cleanly on the face a few times and Wilder looked uncomfortable in those moments. Had it been he was hit that clean by someone with huge power, we would have been able to fully determine his level of punch resistance.
Wilder throws a lot of wild swinging shots and misses a lot. If he encounters someone with good head movement and technique for slipping shots, he will find it hard to land cleanly and will likely get countered with something big. In conclusion, we all know that in heavyweight boxing, a single punch can end a fight so it all comes to who lands the very first big, clean punch. Both fighters hit very hard but I think Stiverne has way better punch resistance and ring smarts to beat Wilder. Wilder is a threat to any opponent he faces due to his freakish power, but for him to get to the top and remain there, he needs to fight better opposition to gain more experience and perhaps change trainers to make him a good all round fighter rather than just a power puncher. He is young and still has a lot of time to achieve all he can achieve, which I believe he will but I think at this time, Stiverne is still too much for him to handle. This is just my own opinion. Readers are free to leave their comments.
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