Deontay Wilder has been in the ring 32 times and in all 32 fights he has ended them in knockouts. When you think about it knockouts seem to be a thing of the past. You have to go back to “Iron” Mike Tyson days when the world saw such force in the heavyweight division. Still with all 32 knockouts coming just within the 4th round of every fight there is still a lot of doubt in the man known as “The Bronze Bomber.” Most notably is the lack of competition in the division. The heavyweights have been given a bad rap for years now since nobody has been able to behead the behemouth monsters of the division known as the Klitchko’s. In fact there hasn’t been an American born heavyweight champion in a very long time. Many people believe this is why boxing hasn’t been as revered as it once was. Gone are the days of our father’s era where such great athletes emerged from the heavyweight division. In light of it all that there seems to be some sense hope. This sense of hope can be fulfilled Saturday night as two of the best in the division will go toe to toe in the middle of the ring.
The stage is set for a heavyweight showdown in the current boxing Mecca capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will pit current WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne against the American born Deontay Wilder. This is the first great matchup of the New Year. It is fitting that we see a heavyweight showdown worthy of such praise of some of the former great matchups we have seen in the past. Now I am not saying this will be another “Thrilla in Manilla,” or a “Rumble in the Jungle,” type of a fight but at least we are seeing a true championship quality match. The current reigning world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko hasn’t fought in the US recently and continues his reign in Germany. Stiverne has only been defeated once in his young career and has proven himself worthy of being crowned the heavyweight champ by the WBC. What he is looking to do next is earn himself the title of the heavyweight champion of the world. That title is held by Klitschko and this bout is going to determine who is next in line for a shot at that title. Stiverne earned his way by beating former title contender Chris Arreola not once but twice. Stiverne is the first Haitian born fighter to ever hold the heavyweight title and is fighting for the pride of his people. He doesn’t generally trash talk but for some strange reason in the build up to this fight there has been a lot of jaw jacking going on from both camps. It is my impression that is just to pump up this fight which is already garnered a lot of attention from the media and boxing press.
Deontay Wilder is coming in this fight looking to become the next best American fighter to become a heavyweight champion. His background and resume are hard to ignore. He is a very young fighter with enough charisma to build a good fan base. It is his reputation as a knockout artist that the fans truly embrace about his fight game. With that being said, he is still yet to be tested by anyone who has crossed his path. It has been a path of destruction but Stiverne is not one to be taken lightly. We all know what Wilder can do to his opponent but what happens when his opponent hits back just as hard? Nobody knows how good of a chin Wilder has because he hasn’t seen past the 4th round. We don’t know how good his stamina is or how well conditioned he is. In other words, I am saying that he has never been tested at this level. Stiverne will not only test Wilder, but will also test his will. It will be interesting to find out what he can do when his back is against the wall. It will also be interesting to see if Stiverne can pose such a threat. All of these questions will be answered in the ring Saturday night. Who will be the next best test at dethroning Klitschko? Let’s all find out Saturday night live on Showtime.