On Saturday night, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder dominated the Las Vegas, Canadian, Haitian armored tank known as Bermane “Beware” Stiverne. The scores of 120-107, 119-108, 118-109 bare that out. With the win, the Anointed One (so says Grandma Wilder), goes to (33-0 with 32 KOs) while Stiverne gets his second loss and drops to (24-2-1, 21 KOs).
During the Bronze Bomber’s first few years in the sport (he turned to boxing in 2005), hardly anyone gave him any notice. Within three years, the media were labeling him the Cinderella story of amateur boxing, rising from obscurity to not only win the National Golden Gloves and U.S. Championships, but to earn a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, the United States’ only boxing medal. If Wilder had won the Gold Medal then his path would have been much easier.
Then, there was all that talk about the fighters he had faced and nobody knew if he could take a punch. But guess what? After his first couple of fights nobody of any ilk wanted to face him. None of the English loudmouths – none of the Eastern Europeans – Wilder was obviously too dangerous. With his fast, lethal hands and knockout record, he was considered too risky.
Now that he has the crown, everyone who wants to prove their worth will have to come and knock on his door. The question regarding his stamina was certainly answered. He has more stamina than anyone out there.
Does he have punching power? Sure he does but it would have been inadvisable to try and KO Stiverne who is like one of those Armored Tanks, the one’s only a guided missile can destroy. Wilder’s only recourse was to outpoint Stiverne, close Stiverne’s eyes, stay out of the way of his booming left hook and work the midsection. Like all the trainers preach, you keep working your jab and benefit from your six inch reach advantage to mount up the points so that the only way this bum can beat you is by way of knock out.
It’s hard to believe Wilder is the first American to win a heavyweight world title since 2006. Shannon Briggs was the last American to win a belt and he only held it for 10 months before losing it in his first title defense to the Russian Sultan Ibragimov.
The 29 year-old Bronze Bomber from Tuscaloosa, Alabama has come on the scene just when the sport needed him the most. At this point he should hire himself the best publicist, comedy writers and do like David Letterman of the Tonight Show, promote himself by offering all sorts of witticisms, play on words, funny one-liners about himself and his competition. Make a visit to the White House.
For Saturday’s contest, Wilder’s trainers, Jay Deas and Mark Breland, put together the perfect game plan and Wilder had the sense to follow it. He fought at a quick pace and showed good defense. He used his jab and fired off those textbook combinations. Plus, he landed that big powerful right to stop Stiverne dead in his tracks. While Wilder kept punching to land 227 of the 621 punches he threw, Stiverne was his same old self, standing there flat footed and only connecting on 110 of the 327 punches that he threw.
The first Haitian-born heavyweight titlist was not nearly as active as Wilder which was to be expected when you are shorter, seven years older and carrying all that excess baggage, 20 to 30 excess pounds.
Wilder hurt Stiverne in the second round and most definitely should have gotten credit for a knockdown from referee Tony Weeks. Stiverne got hit by this shot to the face and then grabbed onto Wilder as any football player would. He wisely tackled Wilder and make certain that both fell to the mat together. Again, this was a brilliant strategy and we might see other fighters start to use it to save themselves from the dreaded 10-8 round.