(Photo credit: Naoki Fakuda) By Scott Gilfoid: Former heavyweight world champion George Foreman got a chance to see Deontay Wilder 33-0, 32 KOs) fight last Saturday night in his bout against WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs), and Foreman came away very impressed with what he saw from the huge punching Wilder.
What especially impressed Foreman was how Wilder was able to box Stiverne for much of the fight instead of him just going out and looking to bludgeon the Haitian heavyweight into submission like he’d done his previous 32 opponents.
“The good thing about it is that Deontay Wilder had been a puncher with all of those knockouts, and yet he was disciplined to do what he had to do and to box last night. That surprised me,” Foreman said via RingTV.com.
Wilder didn’t just beat Stiverne, he totally dominated him with his boxing ability. Additionally, Wilder also hurt Stiverne several times in the fight with powerful right hands. It wasn’t just case of Wilder boxing Stiverne and not looking to hurt him. He definitely had him hurt at times.
Foreman felt that Wilder threw too many shots to the forehead of Stiverne, and that was why he ended up hurting his hand in the 4th round. He thinks he was aiming his punches in the wrong area. However, Stiverne was leaning forward a lot and his forehead was always there as a big target for Wilder to throw his punches. You can’t blame Wilder for aiming his shots there because the area was so wide open for his punches.
Evander Holyfield also chimed on Wilder’s performance, saying that he smothered his own work when he had Stiverne hurt in the 2nd round. Holyfield believes that Wilder should have kept his distance so that he could have gotten maximum power on his shots after he had Stiverne hurt. But with Wilder being such a good inside fighter, he crowded Stiverne and flurried on him until he dropped to the canvas.
Fortunately for Stiverne, the round ended while he was still down from the knockdown. The referee didn’t count the knockdown, but it was clear that Stiverne had fallen from Deontay’s blows rather than him tripping over anything.
“Deontay boxed, kept his composure and he understood that, ‘Look, I have as much ability to go the distance and to win this fight by a decision as any other person,” Foreman said.
Foreman thinks that Wilder should gain some more experience by defending his WBC title against his challengers rather than look to fight IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in a unification match right now. Foreman doesn’t see that as a good fight for Wilder right now. He thinks he should get more experience and then face Wladimir at a later time before he takes that fight.
Foreman thinks Wilder is fine with his current weight of 219 pounds. A lot of boxing fans don’t know that Foreman weighed around 217 pounds when he demolished Joe Frazier in their first fight in 1973. Foreman was a huge puncher but weighed only 217 at 6’4”. He doesn’t think Wilder needs to gain any weight in order to improve his punching power. He’s already a huge puncher at 219, and doesn’t need the extra weight.