Ever since Wladimir Klitschko won an extremely boring unanimous decision over Sultan Ibragimov in a unification bout at the Madison Square Garden seven years ago, there hasn’t been a big heavyweight fight in the United States. This drought will end two weeks from now, when WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne will defend his title against undefeated knockout artist Deontay Wilder.
Wilder, who has knocked out all of his 32 opponents within four rounds, is a slight favorite over Stiverne by the sportsbooks. His opposition however is more than questionable. While the 36-year old Stiverne holds solid wins over Chris Arreola and Ray Austin, Wilder’s best win is a questionable knockout victory over Malik Scott or maybe even Audley Harrison.
The outcome of this fight really boils down to whether Stiverne is able to take Wilder’s punches. And if he is, what is Wilder going to do next? Given the fact that he never went beyond four rounds, it is hard to imagine the 29-year old American winning a twelve round decision.
John Pullman, Californian based trainer of American heavyweight prospect Gerald Washington (15-0, 11KOs), shared his thoughts with ESnews on the first big fight of 2015.
“It is a juicy heavyweight fight. We have been waiting for something like this in America. It is great for boxing. I think we are going to learn a lot about Deontay. We are going to learn if he is the monster that a lot of people think he is. Or if his armor is not as strong like some others are whispering.”
“I tell you this. If he hit Stiverne and Stiverne can take his punches, Deontay might be in some trouble because I know Stiverne can hit also.”
Pullman is bringing up an interesting point here. Stiverne has pretty decent power himself. And while sparring and actual fights are completely different, we all have seen the video where David Haye stunned Wilder, with head gear on, with almost every punch he threw. What is going to happen when Stiverne hits him clean on the chin?
It is only guessing at this point. We don’t know what is going to happen and that is what makes this fight, which will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, so compelling.