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Deontay Wilder looking sharp for Stiverne

Image: Deontay Wilder looking sharp for Stiverne

By Eric Thomas: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder is looking in peak shape for his title defense against Bermane Stiverne this Saturday night. Wilder, 32, showed off his form in his open workout this week, snapping his powerful jab and connecting with monstrous right hands on the pads of his trainer.

(Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) wants to make a statement in beating the 39-year-old Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) by leaving absolutely no doubt in the minds of the boxing public who the best heavyweight is in the division. Stiverne isn’t in the running for the top dog in the division. It’s Wilder and IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua that are viewed as the two best fighters in the division. Stiverne is getting a title shot based on the World Boxing Council keeping making him their No.1 contender despite 2 years of inactivity.

“He survived the first time. He’s the only one to survive on their feet. This is something that I’ve come back to. I will finish the job this time,” said Wilder. “I thought the first Stiverne fight should have been stopped. He had knots all over his faced and was concussed. I’m not trying to leave any doubt this time around,” said Wilder.

The previous Wilder-Stiverne fight never got to the point where it needed to be stopped. Wilder was doing a lot of moving in the second half of the fight, and he seemed to get tired out. Most of the shots that Wilder was landing in the second half of the fight were jabs to the head of Stiverne. The power on Wilder’s jabs weren’t powerful enough to warrant a stoppage by the referee. However, in the first six rounds, there were a couple of occasions where Wilder unloaded on Stiverne enough for the fight to be potentially halted. It would depend on the referee, of course. If the referee that worked the Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam fight last weekend had worked Wilder vs. Stiverne, then the fight probably would have been halted early on. Wilder had Stiverne looking far more hurt than Takam did in round 10 against Joshua.

“think this fight will be even easier for me. He hasn’t improved since we last fought, but I’m going to show him a whole new Deontay Wilder. This is the end of Bermane Stiverne’s career right here,” said Wilder.

It’s doubtful that Stiverne will retire if he loses to Wilder. Stiverne has got a good promoter that will keep getting him chances. Stiverne will need to be a lot busier if he wants to continue to get world title shots. Fighting once every 2 years isn’t going to cut it. Stiverne will need to be an active heavyweight if he wants to get another shot if he loses to Wilder on Saturday.

Wilder-Stiverne will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing this Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Wilder doesn’t want to hear excuses from Stiverne this time around if/when he loses on Saturday. The last time they fought each other, Stiverne spoke of being dehydrated before the fight. Stiverne had been tinkering with his weight to bring it down from the 250s, and he ended up weakening himself from losing too much weight. Wilder wants Stiverne to own his loss this time instead of giving a bunch of excuses about the defeat. Stiverne had a lot of excuses after the last fight.
”Nobody wants to hear excuses from the loser. He knows what happened. I beat him 12 rounds in a row,” said Wilder.

Excuses can cut both ways. Wilder was making a lot of excuses after the Stiverne fight in 2015, complaining of having broken his right hand early in the fight. It would be in Wilder’s best interest to just admit that he couldn’t get the job done without making excuses.

Stiverne always looked like he was one punch away from knocking Wilder out in their previous fight. Stiverne was loading up and swinging for the fences each time Wilder would stray too close to him. There were a lot of missed shots from Stiverne that had knockout written all over them if they had landed cleanly. Wilder is going to need to be focused on his boxing and less on his slugging if he doesn’t want to get clipped by one of Stiverne’s big shots on Saturday night. A loss for Wilder will end the fight and his dreams of getting a fight with Joshua in 2018. Wilder will still end up getting a fight with Joshua, but it’ll likely delay that fight from taking place for at least another year, possibly more depending on British promoter Eddie Hearn. He’s the guy that makes the fights for Joshua, and he’s very careful with whom he matches him against.

If Wilder wins this fight, he could face the winner of the Dominic Breazeale vs. Eric Molina fight, which is taking place on the undercard. Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) was supposed to be fighting Stiverne on the card, with Wilder fighting Luis Ortiz. However, Ortiz tested positive for a banned drug during the pre-fight drug testing. The WBC then chose not to sanction the Wilder-Ortiz fight. Rather than cancel the card, the promoters had Stiverne move up to the main event to challenge Wilder.

Former 2-time heavyweight world title challenger Eric Molina (26-4, 19 KOs) was brought in to face Breazeale on short notice. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants Wilder to fight Dillian Whyte on February 3 in London, England. That’s not going to happen, according to Wilder. He’s not going to chase Joshua, Wilder says. That also means he’s not going to take fights that Hearn wants him to for him to earn a unification fight with Joshua.

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