by Johnny Walker
American boxing fans longing for a heavyweight champion to call their own after the eras of Lennox Lewis and the Klitchko Brothers got their wish tonight as Deontay “The Brown Bomber” Wilder defeated defending WBC champion Bermane Stiverne at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Ironically, as recognized world champion Wladimir Klitschko is often criticized as a “jab artist” here in America (as was Lennox Lewis before him), Wilder used his superior length and a telephone pole jab to keep Stiverne off of him enough to make it a one-sided fight. And no one seemed to have a problem with that strategy.
The Haitian-Canadian Stiverne admitted after the fight that he was flat, failing to cut the ring off and also failing to use his own potent jab against Wilder. It was a mediocre performance from Stiverne on a night when he could least afford one. His WBC reign was a short one, and who knows if and when another chance at a major belt will come Stiverne’s way?
Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs) did demonstrate a great chin, and withstood some hellacious power shots that convinced Wilder he would have to box his way to a win on this night. Stiverne did rock the American a few times, but due to his inexplicable lethargy was unable to follow up with the combinations that might have turned the tide for him and brought him a victory.
The judges’ scores of 118-109, 119-108, and 120-107 reflected the relative ease with which Wilder handled Stiverne.
The 6’7″ tall Wilder moves to 33-0 (32 KOs) and now hopes to secure a fight with a man even bigger than he: 6’9″ giant Tyson Fury of the UK.
Another Briton, David Haye, may also be interested in a date with Wilder, having taken him apart in sparring sessions in the past.