Showtime World championship Boxing Results: Wilder Blasts Stiverne in Round One; Retains WBC Title
By: Eric Lunger
Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) made his second appearance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NYC, Saturday night, headlining a full PBC fight card and making his sixth WBC world championship defense. As the fight-world rumor mill has been grinding on a possible Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua unification fight for 2018, Wilder had a chance to defend his belt and make statement to the rest of the world regarding his readiness to face the British champion.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), as tough and durable as they come, lost his belt to Wilder in a twelve-rounder in 2015. At 39 years of age, this was likely the rugged Haitian-American’s last bid to stay relevant in the heavyweight division. Stiverne hit the scales at 254 lbs., almost 15 pounds heavier than in the first fight. In the lead up to this bout, Stiverne claimed that a radical late-minute weight-cut had sapped his reflexes and punch speed in his first clash with Wilder.
Wilder came out with a snapping jab to which Stiverne had no answer. Plodding forward, Stiverne ate jab after jab. With 50 seconds left in the opening frame, Wilder followed a jab with a laser right hand through the guard, hurling Stiverne back and down onto the canvas. The challenger beat the count at eight but a further Wilder onslaught dropped Stiverne again. Rising to his feet once more, Stiverne caught two brutal punches from the Champion, and was out as he fell. It was a brutal demonstration, as though Wilder was exorcising the demons of three frustrating PED cancelled fights. Wilder called out Anthony Joshua in the post-fight interview, and he demonstrated his integrity with his magnanimous words for Bermane.
There were two bouts on the televised undercard. In the co-main event, fan-favorite Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) took on Adrian Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs) in a twelve round welterweight battle.
Porter was looking to get back into contention in the division after his 2016 loss to Keith Thurman, while Granados was coming off a split decision loss to Adrien Broner in February and hoping for a title shot if he could get past Porter.
With much at stake for both fighters, fireworks were expected — and the bout did not disappoint.
As usual, Porter was dynamic, aggressive, reckless at times, and always entertaining. Granados showed real skill and grit, using his feet to blunt Porter’s relentless attack and often successfully managing the distance to counter Porter. But beyond that, it was a tough and exciting bout from opening bell to final bell. There were wild swings of action in each round and both fighters sparkled at times.
Porter controlled more of the action, and scored with the jab and the left hook.
Granados tried to use his timing and footwork to counter Porter as he came in, and while he landed some good shots, he never had his opponent in serious trouble. Porter, on the other hand, punished Granados all night — especially when he followed the jab and pinned Granados against the ropes.
Unexpectedly, Porter drew some boos in the final round as he backpedaled and ran out the clock. The three score cards came in 117-111 for Porter. Post-fight, it was clear that Porter injured his left hand, which explains Porter taking his foot off the gas in the later rounds.
Earlier in the evening, super lightweight prospect Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KOs) of Kazakhstan faced off against the well-seasoned Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 19 KOs) of Japan, with the vacant IBF world super lightweight title at stake. Kondo was somewhat of an unknown proposition, having never fought outside of Japan, but ranked Number 3 by the IBF in the division. Kondo came out aggressively, working his jab and fighting on his front foot. Lipinets consistently threw hooks to the body, but as the rounds ticked by, Kondo began to score and to dominate in stretches, catching the Kazakh twice with strong right hands. An accidental head butt opened a cut on Lipinets’s forehead. Though bloody, the cut had no real impact on the bout.
Lipinets boxed cleanly and intelligently in the last three rounds, utilizing a snapping jap and effective footwork.
Ultimately, Kondo didn’t have quite enough offensive variety to win the close rounds, and Lipinets scored from a variety of angles and with a variety of punches. Both fighters exhibited a high level of boxing skill, artistry even. The judges scored the fight unanimously for Lipinets (118-110, 117-111, 117-111), and the crowd registered its surprise at the wide scores. Lipinets was forced to show mettle in the championship rounds, and he should be a better fighter for it.
Wilder v Whyte: A First Assessment
Wilder v Whyte: A First Assessment
By: Ben Sutherland
In a recent interview with IFL, Eddie Hearn expressed his desire to get his man Dilian Whyte a shot at Deontay Wilder’s WBC title. The Londoner, who rose to prominence through his scrap with Joshua back in 2015, has been hovering below the world level for some time. Whyte’s clash with Dereck Chisora at the end of last year cemented him as a household name in the UK. His aggressive manner inside and outside of the ring have given him the role of the villain amongst the British public, something which he seems to be relishing.
His profile combined with Hearn’s backing means the fight can produce the type of revenue sufficient enough to entice a big name like Wilder over to the UK. If Wilder is trying to build toward a Joshua fight, Whyte is a great stepping stone, he’s objectively easier work and provides a nice potential pay day. Wilder publicly rejected Hearn’s first advances but, in a hypothetical world where the two men clashed, could Whyte actually win?
The 6ft 7 undefeated American is one of the toughest fights out there. He is aggressive, athletic, and above all else carries serious power, having stopped a staggering 37 of his 38 opponents before the final bell. His technical ability has at times, left a lot to be desired, often throwing wild and unwieldy punches more reminiscent of the UFC than a world class boxer. Up to this point, the quality of his opponents has been such that he has been able to get away with his technical holes. Through sheer power and athleticism he has blasted his opponents out of there. This is perhaps the biggest criticism one could make of Wilder thus far: his record lacks a credible name worthy of his world champion status.
Should he come up against a man with a good chin, who is experienced at the level and technically sound, there are questions which are currently unanswered.
Whyte is best known as the man who rocked Anthony Joshua. At the time, he took him far further than anyone else had. In what is a relatively rare occurrence in boxing, Whyte walked away from the defeat with a better reputation and profile than before. This reputation was bolstered when it was revealed that Whyte had been crippled by a shoulder injury in the build-up. This led to speculation that his power could improve following a surgery to repair his injury. However, since that fight he has struggled. He has four more wins on his record but they were far from impressive. First, he beat Iva Bacurin, a no name Croatian with 12 losses on his record. He then fought an out of shape Dave Allen who took him the distance. He then fought Ian Lewison, who was in even poorer condition. Lewison retired on his stool in the 11th but it was hardly an impressive win. Then he had a massive domestic showdown with fellow Londoner, Dereck Chisora. In a fight which captured the attention of the public through its fiery build up, Whyte won a controversial split decision. The power he showed against Joshua has subsequently been missing. One might theorize after the Klitscko fight that Joshua’s chin is more suspect than we think and perhaps Whyte’s power isn’t what we previously thought.
Meanwhile, Wilder has struggled to find quality opponents in years. Bermane Stiverne, the man from whom he won his WBC title, is probably the best name on his record. Malik Scott, Eric Molina, Arreola and most recently Washington are all decent heavyweights but far from elite fighters and as a result he remains untested at the highest level. One could postulate that this is because he is avoiding the big names as he doesn’t want to risk losing his belt before his big payday against Joshua. His recent social media posts rejecting the fight with Whyte provide us with possible evidence of this.
Wilder had a relatively brief amateur career in which he rose through the ranks quickly. He has a good number of professional fights but good pro fights don’t necessarily prepare you for elite pro fights. It isn’t especially surprising that Stiverne who has been his only remotely world class test to date, took him the distance. He is raw, he is erratic and there are holes in his game that a technical boxer with a good chin can find. However, he is exceptionally talented, athletic and powerful and there is nothing to indicate he can’t be a world beater, he just hasn’t got the record to confirm it.
Mike Tyson said of the Alabamian champ, “Let’s see what happens when he gets hit back”, Dilian Whyte would most certainly hit him back. Whyte is a sound technician, but he is more than happy to stand and trade. Having gone toe to toe with Joshua, he certainly won’t be intimidated by Wilder. He is smaller but he is a real handful. If Wilder truly thought he was light work then the contract with a $3 million purse attached would already be signed.
Wilder has been in trouble away from the ring having been arrested for domestic assault in 2013 and again recently, charged with possession of marijuana. Whyte, who has a track record of inciting incidents in build ups to fights could no doubt get under Wilder’s skin, potentially impacting his performance in the ring.
Based on what we know about the two men thus far, either is capable of winning this fight. If Whyte takes him to the trenches like he has done in his other big name fights, this has the potential to be a real barn burner. For my money, Wilder’s power wins out over Whyte’s in that set of circumstances. However, if Whyte fights off the jab and boxes in a technically proficient manner, his chin is good enough that he could take Wilder into unchartered territory.
On balance, Wilder is bigger and more explosive with a spotless track record and as a result he is the favorite. But, the man from south London isn’t going down without a fight and questions about Wilder’s experience level mean his victory is by no means guaranteed.
The Wilder-Breazeale Melee: Families Should Be Off Limits
The Wilder-Breazeale Melee: Families Should Be Off Limits
By: Sean Crose
This sort of thing happens. What’s more, it’s happened since the early days of boxing. Back in the late 1800s, James J Corbett nearly threw down with Bob Fitzimmons on a stretch of road in the leadup to their heavyweight title matchup. Since then, boxing has provided the world with more out of the ring, inappropriate antics than most could imagine. Some of us may well remember Mike Tyson’s off the wall New York brawl with Mitch Green…or Larry Holmes’ WWE maneuver on Trevor Berbick. Again, such things are part of boxing.
The out of the ring melee that apparently went down Saturday night between the camps of heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and contender Dominic Breazeale, however, seems to have involved Breazeale’s children – and that’s not acceptable. “I want to address the fact,” Breazeale tweeted, “that Deontay Wilder and a mob of about 20 people unprovokedly attacked my Team and my family in the lobby last night.” According to Breazeale, he and his coach were struck in front of Breazeale’s wife and kids in the lobby of a hotel. TMZ has run some confusing footage of the chaos, but it’s hard to discern much of anything on screen.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no definitive proof of anyone actually doing anything criminal after Saturday’s fight card in Alabama (where both Breazeale and Wilder won in impressive fashion). All there essentially is at this point is TMZ and the words of some of those involved. That’s really not a lot to go on. Still, all camps should clear the air about this. Explanations need to be given and, yeah, apologies need to be made. Causing madness in hotel lobbies is simply inappropriate.
Again, this sort of thing happens. Boxing is a tough sport where some very tough people get very psyched up. Such incidents are perhaps probably only natural considering the frame of mind your average fighter must put himself in. Restraint, however, is needed – especially when innocent people can be hurt. And this is particularly true in the case of children. Some things can’t and shouldn’t be laughed off. And if Dominic Breazeale is right in his assertion of what happened on Saturday (and I’m not saying he is), people should be called out and held accountable for it.
In other words, this sort of thing should be saved for the ring.