(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) By Scott Gilfoid: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) doesn’t think former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs) will ever be the same fighter he once was after the beating he took from Deontay in their fight last January on the 17th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Stiverne gave it a game effort, but he was totally outclassed by the 6’7” Wilder, as he ended up losing by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 118-109, 119-108 and 120-107.
It’s not so much the scores and the one-sided nature of the fight that has Deontay thinking that Stiverne won’t ever be the same, it’s the huge head shots that he absorbed in the fight. Stiverne was reduced to that of a punching bag by Deontay, and he took a lot of monstrous shots clean to the head.
“He’s not going to be the same fighter no more. He took too many punches to the head,” Wilder said via Fighthype. “The head is not meant to be hit in the first place. He took over 200 and something punches and had to go to the hospital immediately; he’s not going to be the same fighter.”
Interestingly enough, the 36-year-old Stiverne wants a rematch with Wilder. With the punishment that Stiverne took the first time, it’s hard to understand why he would want a second helping. It would be better for Stiverne to move in another direction towards the WBA title holder Ruslan Chagaev, who looks very beatable. As long as Stiverne isn’t dehydrated from overtraining, he’d have a good chance of beating Chagaev if he can get to him before he gets beaten by some other contender.
The 6’7” Deontay appears too big for the 6’2” Stiverne, and I can’t see the rematch being any different than the first fight. Stiverne doesn’t have the one-punch power needed for him to beat a talent like Wilder. Yeah, Stiverne can land an occasional big shot against Wilder, but he would need to put together a series of consecutive head shots for him to have a chance of scoring a stoppage. That’s just not going to happen, because Deontay doesn’t stand in front of his opponents to let them land punch after punch against him. He keeps moving and is very difficult to hit with more than one shot.
Stiverne needs to slowly work himself back by starting out against 3rd tier heavyweights to see where he’s at with his ability to take punches and with his reflexes. If Stiverne can beat the 3d tier opposition while looking good, then he needs to be moved up against 2nd tier fighters for a while. Once Stiverne proves himself against those kinds of guys, he can then be moved up safely and put in with the 1st tier fighters.
Deontay plans on being back in the ring in the summer months after his adviser Al Haymon finds an opponent for him, and after Deontay’s broken right hand heals up. We could see Deontay fighting in July or August against someone like Chris Arreola, Manuel Charr or Tony Thompson. I believe it’s going to be one of those three fighters that face Deontay.
Wilder would like to fight unbeaten British heavyweight Tyson Fury next, but Fury has decided to go the route of fighting IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for his titles later this year.
If and when Tyson gets knocked out in that fight, it’s going to finish any talk of Wilder fighting him in the near future. The fight can still happen, of course, but it won’t take place until after Fury is able to slowly rebuild his career over a 2 to 3 years period, if he’s able to rebuild it at all.