One of the most debated mythical match-ups in any boxing circle is Joe Louis versus Muhammad Ali. The “Brown Bomber” from Alabama who fought out of Detroit pitted against the “Louisville Lip” that held base in Miami. It’s one for the ages even though it never happened.
On Jan. 17, 2015 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas a more recent heavyweight debate will be decided as Haitian born Champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (24-1, 21 KOs), will do battle against American bronze-medalist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs). The fight has been dubbed “Return to Glory” in reference to Stiverne’s WBC heavyweight title that will be at stake and the resurrection of heavyweight championship fighting on U.S. soil.
Recently when Wilder was asked if he could meet any heavyweight champ in history he picked legendary Joe Louis, the original “Bomber” that Wilder gets his name from.
“He’s part of my nickname. He was the ‘Brown Bomber’ and since I’m from Alabama like he was and I won the Bronze medal at the Olympics, I’m the ‘Bronze Bomber.’”
When asked the same question Stiverne chose “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali.
“He called himself “The Greatest” before he even knew he was the greatest. He worked hard every single day to fulfill it and that is what I do. No corners cut.”
Stiverne is training at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas and expects to come into the fight weighing between 238 and 242 pounds, where he believes he is most effective at.
With Stiverne’s speed and power and Wilder’s perfect knockout record of 32-0 many see this as the biggest heavyweight title fight the U.S. has hosted in a decade.
“The heavyweight champion is what it’s all about. It’s the king of the jungle. It is the champion of all the champions. I am happy to bring it back. Boxing is alive and well,” said Stiverne.
Wilder has been very vocal about the inspiration his daughter gives him to become a world champion, and the first American-born heavyweight champ since Shannon Briggs who held the WBO strap in 2006.
“My daughter is my inspiration.” he said, ” A lot of great champions have held the WBC title belt, so it’s the big one and I’m honored and excited to be fighting for it.”
While Wilder is inspired by his daughter to win the fight, Stiverne says he hopes to be the inspiration for the children of his homeland, Haiti.
“I am blessed to have been born in Haiti and lived in Quebec, Canada and now Las Vegas, and I like to think of myself as an inspiration to kids in Haiti that have suffered so much – just like me. I want them to know that if they work hard they can achieve their dreams.”
Stiverne-Wilder will never be Ali-Louis but there are few similarities. Stiverne is a slick boxer, much like his idol Ali, he may not be as mobile as Ali, but he employs many of the same rope-a-dope techniques and anchor punches that Ali did. Opposite is the destructive force of Wilder and like his predecessor Louis, he has been on a rampage knocking over any obstacles put in front of him.
Finally American fans have a heavyweight fight worth getting excited for. There is a mutual dislike between the fighters particularly from Stiverne who recently called Wilder a “clown.”
“He acts like it’s the WWE. This is for real. It is going to hurt very bad,” Stiverne said. Adding, “On Jan. 17 I will hurt Wilder and I will knock him out and it will be a lasting image in peoples’ minds for a very long time.”
Wilder insists that he has “no thoughts” about Stiverne.
“I’m just ready to fight and leave it all out in the ring . . . Fans should expect a great night of boxing and everyone will see Jan. 17. Be there or tune in on TV if you can’t. You don’t want to miss it!”
This is a highly anticipated bout that fans have waited for since Stiverne won his title in May of last year. The fight almost went to a purse bid before both sides reached an agreement.