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16 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Stiverne Promising A "Short And Painful" Night For Wilder

Stiverne celebrates victory
Stiverne celebrates victory

By Marc Livitz:

The heavyweight championship of the world has long been discussed as among the most coveted prizes in all of professional sports. Nothing quite got the competitive fires burning like gathering around the TV on a Saturday night in the late 1980’s and early 90’s to watch such names as Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, Foreman and others. However in recent years, the landscape of the heavyweight division has drastically changed in terms of a "who’s who" and has actually gone to a "just two" variety. While the world waits around to see if the sport’s top two attractions will actually face off before the true dawn of Aquarius, the weight class which boasts an unlimited poundage limit and its associated aura may at last return to American shores in the form of a matchup in Las Vegas between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder.


The inescapable link between the heavyweight championship and the Klitschko brothers (though now narrowed to just one, Wladmir) has caused many a casual fight fan to look away from the bouts between the big guys and look much, much lower down the scales. It all but remains to be seen if WBC Heavyweight titleholder Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KO’s) of Las Vegas by way of Haiti has what it takes to stand up to the firepower and brute strength of knockout aficionado Wilder (32-0, 32 KO’s) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Wilder’s knockout streak has gained him pugilistic prominence (none past four rounds), while Stiverne’s two victories over Chris Arreola for the WBC heavyweight crown helped him to cement his name on the map.


Earlier this afternoon, Stiverne, Wilder, their associated camps and promoters all participated in an international media conference call to promote the January 17, 2015 showdown. The bout entitled "Bombs Away" will be televised in the United States on the Showtime network and will be contested live at the MGM Grand in Vegas.


Selected Highlights from Today’s Call Are Listed Below:



Don King, Promotional Legend and Promoter of Bermane Stiverne: "This bout is America’s return to glory in the heavyweight division. It’s going to be a great event but it will also bring boxing back to where it should be. It will bring the country back to where it needs to be after a ten to fifteen year wait for a heavyweight champion. It will happen in Las Vegas, the boxing capital of the world. Unity, solidarity and togetherness is what you’ll get at the MGM Grand and the lion shall roar. The days of Mike Tyson-like ferociousness will return in the form of Bermane Stiverne as he faces the "Bronze Bomber" in Deontay Wilder."


Eric Gomez, Senior VP of Golden Boy Promotions: "We’re very happy to be working with Don King once again. Deontay Wilder will finally get his chance to fight for the world heavyweight title. He’s won all of his fights by knockout and he’s proven to be worthy of the challenge."


Deontay Wilder, Opening Statements: "I’m excited about this fight and being able to display my talents once again. I have no doubt that my hand will be raised at the end of this fight. The words out of the announcer’s mouth will be, "...and the new heavyweight champion of the world" in my favor. I’m glad that Stiverne is in full health because I don’t want any excuses when I beat him. I congratulate him for becoming the first Haitian born heavyweight champion, but it’s my time. I plan on being here for a very long time."


Bermane Stiverne, Opening Statements: "I’m not an entertainer or promoter like my opponent. From the first time I moved to Las Vegas, I’ve always wanted to fight for the title there, but instead I’ll be defending my title there. I’m prepared and I’m ready. No one is going to beat me and I mean that. January 17 is going to be a short and very painful night, that’s for sure."



Camille Estephan, Manager of Stiverne: "Deontay Wilder is 32-0 with 32 knockouts, but against who? It’s been a very well choreographed career and he’ll find out that this is a different level. We’ve waited a long time and we’ve been dodged and blocked for many years."


Wilder’s Thought on Stiverne: "I make the mind play tricks on you. It’s almost like a magic trick. In and out of the ring are two different things. We’ll see what’s been choreographed. They call beating (Chris) Arreola a step up. I have an opponent on my resume named Mailk Scott and he could crush Bermaine Stiverne. Someone’s going to lose their job that night."


Don King Interjects: "Wilder is a great fighter and he’s working his way up. He’ll have a lesson given to him on January 17 and he can try another day."


Bermane on taking the fight into the later rounds: "Whoever he’s fought is not on my level. We haven’t based training camp as if he’s fought anyone at all. He hasn’t gone past four rounds and that’s not my business. All I can say is that on January 17, everyone will get their answers about this guy. I don’t care who he’s fought. It doesn’t matter because I’m getting ready to be unleashed. We’ll just keep working hard and we’ll be ready."


Deontay’s Response: "I’m a different fighter. I know my skills and abilities. The hard work is done in the gym. Nothing has ever been given to me. I don’t know the easy road. I’ve had to work for everything since I was a kid, so going twelve full rounds is an appetizer to me. I don’t get paid for overtime, so I don’t need to stick around longer than I need to."


"If it goes past four, then so be it. If not, then who cares. We can go back to fifteen rounds if you want. They go on and on about all of this experience. I actually have more experience than him. I go to work everyday, unlike most heavyweights who don’t go to the gym unless they have a fight coming up. I can say all I want, but I hope I get to answer everything on fight night. I just can’t wait. I wish it was tomorrow."



Wilder Then Commented on the Relationship with his nine year old daughter, who is stricken with Spina Bifida : "We actually inspire each other. I promised her when she was one year old that I’d become the heavyweight champion and I can make that promise a reality now. She’s been through so much in her nine years of living. She knows what’s going on and I know that she’s my number one fan. All of the surgeries she’s gone through have shown me that I can go through anything. So, this is a promise that has to be fulfilled."


Deontay on the Lack of Credible Opponents on his Record: "We had a plan when I came into boxing. My team’s done a good job and who they line up for me is their job. My job is to beat them. I get all knockouts, but that stuff is not easy."



"Yes, I’ve wanted certain fights, but it doesn’t always work out for me. They call my opponents bums and that’s why I have to go in and win this fight. Enough is enough and they’ll have to say that I’m good. People like this fight and they’re excited about it."



Closing Statements from Wilder (Stiverne was Disconnected from Call): "I really don’t know about Stiverne. He has some credible knockouts on his resume but he said it perfectly. Some questions about me will be answered. I think this is the most anticipated and exciting fighting fight in a long time. I’m from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and people there are excited about this. This is a football town, but they’re talking about boxing. They keep talking about how big this is. I’m excited about bringing the heavyweight spotlight back to the United States."




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