Can Deontay Wilder Live Up to the Hype?

Garcia-Herrera Fight Night5

Undefeated heavyweight Deontay Wilder is set to face Bermane Stiverne some time this fall. Though the bout remains unscheduled, fight fans are interested to see how Wilder will fare against Stiverne, who just came off another win against Chris Arreola this past May.

Wilder has gained attention from the boxing community due to his impressive power and knockout percentage (31-0, 31 KOs).

As an attractive undercard on fights headlined by other divisions, he has brought some much-needed excitement to the heavyweight division.

Though Wilder’s stats are impressive, he has yet to face tough opposition. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the ring with Stiverne, who can take shots, has decent power, and can box.

On paper Wilder has what it takes to win: dangerous power, notable height and arm reach advantage. But to be successful in his next bout, and as he sets his sights on other fighters like against Wladimir Klitschko, Wilder will need to be sharp and box well.

Stiverne’s trainer, Don House, recently made comments to Fight Hype indicating that Wilder is not a threat.

I’m not worried about a guy like Wilder. Wilder hasn’t fought a guy in the top 500. And he hasn’t been past the 4th round. So I’m debating, should we take him in deep waters and let him see what it feels like or should we knock him out in the first 3 rounds? I know Deontay Wilder is getting knocked out in the gym with headgear on.

Stiverne, not to be underestimated, may be a real test for Wilder. As demonstrated in his last fight, Stiverne is able to reach a level of confidence in the ring that can deter his opponent’s efforts.

Wilder, however, sees Stiverne as easy work (via the Tuscaloosa News).

The guy, he’s got so many things that benefit me. [Stiverne] keeps his head down, I’m a tall fighter. He likes to stay back, of course he likes to counter but my arms are so long, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone to fight a fighter like me. They say styles make fights, but he’s going to definitely have to get out of his style. He’s going to have to be more of a pressure fighter which he isn’t a pressure fighter … I think it’s going benefit me a lot in this fight. He’s not going to be able to touch me. I’m going to show people – I’m predicting a first-round knockout.

Wilder makes a good point that instead of pressuring, Stiverne tends to stay back and counter. But as seen in Stiverne’s last bout, he used this approach to
feel out his opponent and perfectly time his power punches.

When in the ring, both Wilder and Stiverne derive confidence from their power.Whether the two of them brawl, or we finally see Wilder go into the later rounds, this matchup will make for an exciting fight.

Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime

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