Stiverne-Wilder fight puts focus back on American heavyweights
By Santos A. Perez
Far removed from the backdrop of a world title fight, an undercard bout at Miami Jai-Alai Fronton nearly three years ago spurred Bermane Stiverne to championship standing.
Two fights after his victory over journeyman Willie Herring in April 2012, Stiverne has become the first heavyweight champion without a Klitschko surname since 2011.
On Saturday night, Stiverne will take another significant step in his late-blooming career. Stiverne, who turned 36 in November, will make the first defense of his World Boxing Council title against 2008 U.S. Olympian Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Defending my title in Vegas at the MGM Grand is a dream,” Stiverne said. “Nobody will beat me.”
Related This was not the first time Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) has thoughts of invincibility.
During his consecutive fights with contender Chris Arreola that earned the Haiti native and former Miami resident the heavyweight belt, Stiverne was also unbeatable. Stiverne won a lopsided decision over Arreola in a title eliminator then stopped him in six rounds to win the WBC title, vacated after former champion Vitali Klitschko retired.
“The heavyweight champion is what it’s all about,” Stiverne said. “It’s the King of the Jungle. It is the champion of all champions.”
Stiverne wants to play a role in reviving the heavyweight division’s impact in the North American fight market. Brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, both based in Europe, have monopolized the titles over the past decade.
“The WBC heavyweight belt has been held by many great champions,” Stiverne said. “It’s the biggest prize out there.
“The belt is great — it’s meant a lot but I’m still hungry. I still want more.”
Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) will attempt to become the first U.S.-born fighter to win a heavyweight crown since Shannon Briggs’ eight-month title reign in 2006-07. For Wilder, 29, the path to a title fight took longer than expected, considering his Olympic pedigree, which includes a bronze-winning medal performance.
“I am ready to make history and be one of the greats,” Wilder said. “Representing the U.S. in a heavyweight fight, bringing it back home, it’s an honor. It’s time for the heavyweight division to be important again and I’m the guy to do it.”
Hall of fame
Two-time light-heavyweight champion Uriah Grant and 1990s heavyweight contender Phil Jackson head the 2015 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame class in Fort Myers.
Grant, a native of Jamaica and long-time Miami resident, had a 20-year career, highlighted by stints as 175-pound champion in 1997 and 2000. Jackson, a native of Miami Beach, was a national Golden Gloves amateur champion and unsuccessfully challenged Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title in 1994.
The 2015 class also features former heavyweight champion Tony Tucker, 1960s welterweight titleholder Benny “Kid” Paret and Hialeah resident Julio Martinez, who has promoted shows in South Florida for the past 35 years.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be June 19-21 in Tampa. For information, call 813-384-7711 or visit www.floridaboxinghallfoffame.com.
EURO RESULTS By Per-AkePersson Feb 19, Tambov, RUS: K Popov 6x3: Anton Mezhuev, 59,1, Rus TKO 4 (2.11) Sarkis Grigoryan, 57,8, Rus Grigoryan suspended four weeks. ...
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson The WBO eliminator at supermiddleweight between former WBA lightheavy contender Robin Krasniqi (46-4) and former WBO champ Arthur Abraham (45-5) will go ahead April 22 at the Congress C...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Feb 12, Krasnodar, RUS, LTD SKV Boxing Elnur Samedov, 62,3, Rus W6-U Taras Kovalenko, 61,8, Rus 60-54 on all cards. Arseny Nury, 61...
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson It's official: today (February 14) SES and Z! Promotions revealed the plans for their big event March 18 at the Arena in Leipzig alhough some of the news have been known for some time. ...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Feb 5, Volgograd, RUS: Evgeny Romanov, 98,2, Rus W6-U Yury Bykhtsov, 96,3, Blr/Rus 58-56, 58-57 and 59-55. Feb 5, Kre...
EURO NEWS By Per-Ake Persson Simo Rantalainen, a well known and controversial journalist, TV host, boxing promoter and a lot more in Finland, have written a book about Tarmo Uusivirta. Uusivirta is one of the best ...
That Detect Brain Bleeds, Introduced For Professional Boxing Events In The United Kingdom BRITISH & IRISH BOXING AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE London, UK – 3rd February 2017 – The British &am...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Jan 28, Voronezh, RUS: Victory Tim Boxing Promotion Vazir Tamoyan, 69,1, Rus W4-U Roman Klemeshov, 69,4, Rus 40-36 on all cards. ...