In a fight that pits big puncher vs. gargantuan puncher, Jan. 17 could prove to be a momentous day in heavyweight boxing history, especially in the United States of America.
Stiverne (24-1, 21 KOs), the first Haitian-born heavyweight titleholder, stopped Chris Arreola this past May in Los Angeles to win the WBC title which was vacated by Vitali Klitschko when the Ukrainian fighter retired in December 2013 to focus on politics in his home country.
Wilder, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the last American man to date to win an Olympic boxing medal, snagging a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. Although Wilder is 32-0, with all of his victories coming by way of knockout, he has not been tested in his professional career.
The biggest name on his record is former titlist Siarhei Liakhovich, who beat Lamon Brewster in 2006 to win the WBO heavyweight title, but was knocked out in his preceding defense against Shannon Briggs.
Wilder knocked out Liakhovich so badly in their bout, Liakhovich’s body twitched uncontrollably on the canvas, forcing the referee to halt the bout. Will Stiverne be able to take the mammoth shots from Wilder? It’s time to predict how this one will play out!
Round 1: The fighters are anxious to get this fight on. Here we go! Wilder traps Stiverne against the ropes. Stiverne is covering up decently. Stiverne lands a solid cross to the head of Wilder and dances away. Wilder avoids the lead right and connects with a straight right hand. Wilder lands a solid uppercut. Stiverne is hurt. He fires the overhand right and comes up with nothing.
Round 1 Winner: Wilder 10-9
Round 2: Wilder cannot connect with his shots to the body. Stiverne lands with a strong hook that caught Wilder’s attention. Wilder responds with a great hook to the midsection. That shot took the wind out of Stiverne. Wilder is taunting Stiverne now, motioning with his gloves to bring the fight to him. Stiverne is on the outside, slipping away from Wilder’s punches. Stiverne lands with a sweet hook.
Round 2 Winner: Stiverne 19-19
Round 3: Stiverne misses with an attempted body shot. Wilder’s uppercut from the outside just barely grazed Stiverne’s jaw. It nearly landed flush. Wilder scores with a series of body shots. Stiverne tries to drop the right hand, but Wilder blocks it.
Round 3 Winner: Wilder 29-28 Wilder
Round 4: Wilder scores with a quick jab. Stiverne fires a combination, but only landed one at best. Wilder lets his hands go and lands with some mammoth shots. Stiverne lands with a heavy combination downstairs. Stiverne also lands with the hook and follows it up with a hard hook to the side of Wilder’s head.
Round 4 Winner: Stiverne 38-38
Round 5: Wilder lands with a hard cross and Stiverne is cut. Blood is running down Stiverne’s cheek. The cut under his left eye is looking pretty bad. Stiverne is in survival mode, fighting from the outside and peppering Wilder with the jab, but Wilder catches him with a right to the face, using subtle movement and a tight guard to protect his body. Wilder slams Stiverne with a fierce hook to the jaw. Stiverne is stunned. Another uppercut lands for Wilder, Stiverne is on the verge of going down. Wilder is attacking the body. Stiverne’s right eye is beginning to swell considerably. Stiverne lands with a sweet uppercut on the inside and follows it up with a huge straight right hand. This was a solid, action packed round.
Round 5 Winner: Wilder 48-47 Wilder
Round 6: Stiverne is still bleeding under the left eye. Wilder lands a rib-breaking hook and Stiverne is clutching his side seemly hurt badly. Stiverne lands with the uppercut and they tie up. Wilder throws a looping shot and Stiverne surprises him with a hook. Wilder lands with an uppercut to the body in retaliation. The swelling under Stiverne’s right eye is getting worse. Both fighters are trading in the center. Wilder has a little mouse under his right eye as well. He lands a three-punch combination on an unsteady Stiverne.
Round 6 Winner: Wilder 58-56 Wilder
Round 7: A big lead right scores for Wilder. Stiverne gets the cross through Wilder’s tight guard. Wilder scores with an awkward cross-hook combination. Stiverne appears to be low on fuel. Wilder scores with a crisp uppercut.
Round 7 Winner: Wilder 68-65 Wilder
Round 8: Stiverne took the last round off, clearly, but lands a combination with some authority to begin the eighth round. Wilder lands a thudding body shot and Stiverne has to hold on. Those type of shots have taken everything out of Stiverne. In desperation, Stiverne lands a huge right hand.
Round 8 Winner: Stiverne 77-75 Wilder
Round 9: Stiverne gets caught by an uppercut he did not see coming and he goes down hard. Stiverne is trying to regain his senses as the count reaches four. Can he get up? Stiverne is out! Deontay Wilder is the new WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world!
Result: Deontay Wilder KO 9