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Deontay Wilder: If Bermane beats me, I’ll retire

Image: Deontay Wilder: If Bermane beats me, I’ll retire

By Allan Fox: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) says he’ll retire from boxing if he loses this Saturday night in his title defense against his mandatory challenger 38-year-old Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

A loss for Wilder, 31, against would result in him losing millions upon millions of dollars in his hoped for unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua going down the drain. That fight would definitely not be happening at that point because Joshua would go in another direction towards other fighters.

“If Bermane beats me, ya’ll don’t have to hear about me anymore. I’m retired. I may move to MMA or some s—. That’s fact!” said Wilder on Tuesday in his conference call to discuss his fight against Stiverne on Showtime Championship Boxing.

That would be a real shocker if Wilder chose to retire after a loss to Stiverne, because there would still be so much money for the 6’7” Wilder could make if he could rebuild his career with some tune-ups.

For the boxing fans that remembered the previous fight between Stiverne and Wilder, there were many times in the fight where Stiverne threw wild shots that likely would have knocked Wilder out if they had connected. Wilder was lucky on a number of occasions that those big punches missed him by inches. Wilder was taking a lot of chances in there with the way he was fighting Stiverne. Wilder got nailed by at least 3 really hard punches from Stiverne in the fight, but those were nothing compared to the high number of punches that Stiverne threw and failed to land.

With Stiverne’s punching power and Wilder’s shaky chin, you can’t assume anything about the outcome of this fight. Stiverne’s punching power is a real game changer, especially9 given Wilder’s weak chin. All it takes is one big shot from Stiverne to change the entire fight. Chris Arreola was blasted out by Stiverne in the 6th round in their rematch on April 27, 2014, and he’s arguably got a better chin than Wilder. The difference is that Arreola, 6’3”, didn’t have the height and reach to keep out of the way of Stiverne’s big power shots the way that Wilder did in his win over him in 2015.

“If Stiverne beats me, I will retire. It doesn’t get much more serious than that. So let the games begin,” Wilder said.

Well, if Wilder does retire from boxing following a loss to Stiverne, then maybe it’s for the best. The only good fighter that Wilder has faced in his career is Stiverne. The rest of the guys were flawed fighters that he padded his record with. If Wilder can’t get past Stiverne, then there’s no point in him talking about fighting Joshua or Joseph Parker, because those guys would likely be too much for him. You’ve got to have the chin to compete at the highest rungs of the heavyweight division, and a knockout loss for Wilder against Stiverne would confirm the worst fears that a lot of the boxing fans and members of the media have about the Alabama native.

Of course, Wilder quitting after one loss on his record would give him the likely tag of a quitter by fans. Quitting in the face of adversity isn’t the sign of a mentally strong person. It’s the sign of someone that is weak, who doesn’t want to work on his flaws to improve himself. There are a lot of good trainers in the sport that would love to try and fix whatever problems that cause Wilder to lose the rematch with Stiverne if that scenario plays out.

It’s obviously not a good sign that Wilder is talking about wanting to retire if he loses, because that gives you a good indication of where the 2008 U.S Olympian’s mind is at right now. He’s thinking of getting of the sport if he loses. There are a lot of people that hide when feeling shamed in the face of failure or not performing at their best. The mark of a strong person is someone that can deal with shame by facing it head on and looking to rise up. It doesn’t sound good though that Wilder is looking for a way out of boxing if he gets clipped by Stiverne and beaten on November 4.

“Everything he gave me (in the first fight), I ate like breakfast as a sick man in the ring,” said Stiverne about the power shots he took from Wilder in their fight 2 years ago.

Wilder replied with this:

“He say he ate my punches for breakfast? Then I hope he made room for lunch.”

Wilder is expected to win the rematch with stiverne with flying colors, as the former WBC champion has fought only once in the last 2 years since his loss in 2015. Stiverne’s last fight was against journeyman Derric Rossy on November 14, 2015. Stiverne won that fight by a 10 round unanimous decision, but it was a close win. Stiverne was knocked down in the 1st round, and he took a lot of punishment. It’s unclear whether the punishment that Stiverne took at the hands of Wilder in their January 2015 fight did something to his punch resistance or what. Heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce said he worked Stiverne over in a recent sparring session. He said it was like punching a walking heavy bag around for 12 rounds.

If Wilder retires after losing to Stiverne, he’s never going to hear the end of it. I don’t know where Wilder could go to escape the criticism he would receive if he retired off of a loss. if Wilder moved out of the country the way Marvin Hagler did after his loss to Sugar Ray Leonard, then it might not be that bad, but it would still be a rotten way to retire. Stiverne is not in the class of Sugar Ray Leonard in the talent department. Wilder is not supposed to lose this fight. However, is still very raw when it comes to his boxing skills, and like I said, he doesn’t have the best chin. If Wilder makes a mistake against Stiverne, he’ll pay a heavy price for it.

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