Editorials

Stiverne vs. Wilder: RBRBoxing Face Off

Stiverne Wilder - Lorin

On Saturday, January 17, 2015, Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) and Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) attempt to return the Heavyweight division back to its former glory as they clash in a 12-round championship bout in Las Vegas, NV.

Stiverene is the WBC champion, but odds makers have the knockout machine, Wilder, a slight favorite.

Is there a chance this one goes to the scorecards, or will someone be knocked out?

RBRBoxing‘s Lou Catalano and Lauren Pinkerton break down the Heavyweight matchup in a brand new series called “Face Off” as they give you their thoughts on why Stiverne and Wilder will win!

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Let us know who you’re picking with a comment below!

 

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Why Bermane Stiverne will rip Deontay Wilder’s head off.

Lou Catalano

I wrote last week that this fight could have huge ramifications for the Heavyweight division–if Deontay Wilder is the goods. But the sad truth is that after 32 fights in which he’s laid out all 32 opponents, we still don’t know how good he is. That’s because roughly 30 of the 32 guys he faced were in fact reanimated corpses, brought back specifically so he could drill them into the canvas.

And hey, his team plotted out a course for him, and it’s gotten him this far. That’s fine, except he goes into the biggest fight of his career utterly untested at the elite level. And while Bermane Stiverne isn’t George Foreman, the dude can fight. And Saturday night on Showtime, he’s going to give Wilder a serious surprise.

For one thing, Wilder has a very appropriate surname. He’s gotten away with it in the past, because guys like Jason Gavern weren’t put in front of him to counter those wide open shots he throws. They were there to bleed, and to be put to sleep. Stiverne won’t be going anywhere. He’s ridiculously patient, and he’ll work his way inside while Wilder throws a right hand from the fifth row. From there, Stiverne will drill him with a counter shot.

While Wilder was beating up internet trolls and oscillating fans, Stiverne was beating the hell out of Chris Arreola. Twice. Arreola won’t be confused with Klitschko, but he is FAR BETTER than anyone Wilder has ever faced. And that will make the difference here. Stiverne is simply better prepared.

Stiverne is going to wait Wilder out, perhaps giving up the first few rounds in order to time the American. The problem for Wilder is that Stiverne won’t wilt like the guys he’s seen before. He’ll still be there, right in front of him, and he’ll be firing back. That’s when time is going to run out for Deontay.

Wilder certainly has size and reach advantages. But he often negates them by dropping his hands and lunging in. Again, when Audley Harrison’s corpse is attempting to throw punches back at you, it’s not a real problem. Stiverne? He’s a problem.

Stiverne keeps his left hand enticingly low, in an effort to get his man to throw so he can counter over the top. He’s content to fire the jab while setting you up for the big right hand. Wilder has a wide stance, and he throws the one-two effectively. But watch his fights–he’s WIDE OPEN to be countered. No one has been able to yet, but again, he’s never fought anyone like Stiverne before.

In the end, Stiverne is just too big of a jump for Wilder, who won’t be prepared for what the Haitian brings to the ring. Look for a massive knockout for Stiverne, right around the eighth round.

 

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Why Deontay Wilder has the stuff to become the new Heavyweight champion of the world.

Lauren Pinkerton

The American heavyweight already has a large fan base for his next title bout against Bermane Stiverne, and without even watching a fight, it’s easy to see why. Deontay Wilder has a five-inch height advantage over Stiverne, as well as a three-inch range gain and a seven year age gap.

On paper, Wilder’s got this.

Now we get to look at his record, which is always a fun topic to bring up. The guy is currently 32-0 with 32 knockouts. People found this record so breathtakingly beautiful that it made everyone compulsively research his entire career.

After a quick scan of boxers that have been forced to taste the mat by Wilder, it becomes apparent that he has yet to have a “real challenger.” It seems like Wilder has been secretly fattening up his record with no-brain matchups, and no one has noticed until a few weeks ago.

On top of the claim that Wilder has never faced a worthy opponent, we’re all starting to get a little itchy over the fact that he has never even seen the fifth round of any professional fight. Remember back in November when knockout-specialist Sergey Kovalev fought Bernard Hopkins and everyone was all tied up knowing that Kovalev had never fought into the eighth round?

This is much worse.

At least Kovalev had experienced the middle rounds of a fight, something that Wilder still cannot say he’s done.

I don’t see these as setbacks, however. Sure, let’s all agree that Bermane Stiverne is by far the best opponent Wilder has ever come across, but don’t say that his 32 knockouts were a waste. Whether the previous fighters were sub-par or not, after 32 consecutive knockouts, the American definitely knows the knockout recipe.

ESPN was quick to inquire about the short rounds issue in an interview. Wilder responded that that’s just how his fights go, but of course he trains for all 12 rounds. He’s a professional, after all.

But what else does Wilder have going for him? Well, heavy hands and a stomach you could wash your clothes on for starters. It might not seem like much, but this is precisely what is required from heavyweight boxers. Compared to other fighters in the division, “The Bronze Bomber” has the body build to be more durable against punches, and last longer in the ring.

If his punches alone weren’t hostile enough, his mouth sure is. Wilder has gone on record several times expressing his disdain for the Haitian champion, as well as announcing that this fight will fall in suit with the rest of his career.

It’s cocky, yes, but the word we’re looking for here is aggressive, and that may be the trigger pulling device that lands another win for the American. George Foreman even put in his two cents on the fight, agreeing that Wilder’s aggressiveness will be his ticket to success.

The key here is to keep that momentum alive throughout the entire fight. Wilder doesn’t have an impressive ring IQ, but with the other benefactors, why should he? His physic, sledgehammer punches and aggressive nature are all he needs to send Stiverne flying.

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