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 Can Answer Some Questions Saturday Night
By: Eric Lunger
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) makes his sixth title defense this Saturday night against former champ Bermane Stiverne (25-2, 21 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NYC. Wilder won the belt in January of 2015, defeating Stiverne in a 12 round unanimous decision, so what relevance does a second go-round have, especially when the first fight was not very competitive?
The answer to that question lies partially in what happened last weekend in Cardiff, Wales. Anthony Joshua, who dramatically dethroned the great Wladimir Klitschko last April, looked less than spectacular against the crafty and difficult-to-hit Carlos Takam. With a potential showdown with Joshua in the near future on the line, what questions can the Bronze Bomber answer this Saturday night which might help seal the deal?
We know that Wilder has KO power, but can he box? He’ll need more than power to hang with AJ. The Alabama native has a classic (and devastating) one-two, but has Wilder become a more multi-dimensional fighter? It would be great to see some variety from Deontay, some inside game, for example, or some new use of footwork and angles. The knock on Wilder has been that, while he has plenty of power, a technically proficient fighter would exploit those wide and wild punches that Wilder has thrown in the past. A tighter, more controlled performance from Wilder might silence that type of criticism.
Where is Wilder in terms of conditioning? The Bomber is known for staying in fighting trim, whereas at times Joshua looked tired, and seemed to be carrying too much weight for his frame. A lean and efficient Wilder might pose some real trouble for AJ, especially if he can take the British star into the late rounds.
Does Wilder need to score a dramatic knockout in order to stoke interest in a Joshua match-up? English promoter Eddie Hearn will not want to risk his star’s “zero” until conditions are optimal. There is already a high level of interest in the fight among boxing fans on both sides of the Atlantic — an exclamation point by Wilder would only add fuel to the fire. And a dominant win would make it harder for Joshua’s team to justify an interim opponent, especially after taking Takam deep into the fight and winning on a questionable stoppage.
The action will be live this Saturday night on Showtime (9 PM ET/6 PM PT)
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lipinets vs. Kondo, Porter vs. Granados, Wilder vs. Stiverne
By: William Holmes
Last Saturday night Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua was able to successfully defend his belt against an overmatched Carlos Takam, but looked less than impressive in doing so.
This Saturday night the WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, will look to defend his title against Bermane Stiverne in a rematch of a fight that Wilder convincingly won the first time.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Two other bouts will also be televised. Shawn Porter will look to get back into the welterweight title picture when he faces Adrian Granados in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The first bout of the night will be for the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight Title and will be between Sergey Lipinets and Akihiro Kondo.
This card will take place at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York and will be televised live on Showtime.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Sergey Lipinets (12-0) vs. Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1); IBF Junior Welterweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Sergey Lipinets, a highly ranked prospect from Kazakhstan, and Akihiro Kondo, a tough rugged veteran from Japan.
Lipinets, at 28, is four years younger than Kondo but will be giving up about one inch in height. They both have notable power. Lipinets has ten career stoppage victories including four of his past five bouts. Kondo has sixteen stoppage victories including five straight KO/TKO wins.
Lipinets has been fairly active and fought three times in 2016 and once in 2017. Kondo fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016.
Lipinets is also a former WAKO World Full Contact Kicking Boxing Champion at Light Welterweight.
Lipinets, despite only having twelve professional fights, has only faced on opponent with a losing record since the start of his professional career. He has already defeated the likes of Clarence Booth, Leonardo Zappavigna, Walter Castillo, and Haskell Rhodes.
Kondo has never fought as a professional outside of Japan. More specifically, he never fought outside of Korakuen Hall in Japan as a professional. His list of defeated opponents is less than impressive and includes boxers such as Komsan Polsan, Shogo Yamaguchi, and Ryuji Migaki. His losses were to Nihito Arakawa, Yoshitaka Kato, Tomoya Yamada, and Rick Sismundo.
Kondo will likely be a tough opponent that has the ability to go the distance, but his six losses in Japan are hard to overlook as well as his lack of a notable victory over a well known opponent. Lipinets should win, but he may have to box conservatively to avoid a shocking knockout loss and win a safe decision victory.
Shawn Porter (27-2-1) vs. Adrian Granados (18-5-2); Welterweights
Shawn Porter is another boxer looking to get back into title contention as he faces Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
Porter is two years older than Granados but still in his athletic prime at the age of thirty. He will be giving up two inches in height and about four and a half inches in reach to the taller Granados.
Both boxers has fairly successful amateur careers. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion while Granados was a Junior Golden Gloves National Champ.
Both boxers have been fairly inactive the past two years. They both only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
Porter has higher number of knockouts. He has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Granados has stopped twelve. Porter also has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Erick Bone, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Ray Robinson. His losses were to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook.
Granados lost a close fight to Adrien Broner and scored a big upset over Amir Imam. However, he has lost to the likes of Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and a Joe Juan Fuentes.
Granados is a viable opponent because of his close fight with Adrien Broner and his upset victor over Amir Imam, but Porter is too experienced to lose a fight over an opponent like Granados at this stage of his career.
Deontay Wilder (38-0) vs. Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
The man event of the evening is between Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Title. They previously met in January of 2015, a fight which went the full twelve rounds and saw Wilder win a comfortable decision.
Wilder was originally scheduled to face Luis Ortiz, but a positive drug test by Ortiz forced the cancellation of that bout.
Wilder will have a five inch height and a three inch reach advantage over Stiverne. He is also seven years younger than his opponent. Stiverne, at the age of thirty eight, will likely have a very hard time getting another title shot if he’s not successful on Saturday.
Wilder has unbelievable knockout power. He has stopped thirty seven of his opponents and the only man to take him to the distance was Bermane Stiverne. Stiverne has twenty one stoppage victories on his resume but has only won one of his last five fights by stoppage.
Inactivty will hurt Stiverne. This will be his first fight in nearly two years. He last fought on November 14th of 2015. Wilder fought twice in 2016 and once in 2017.
Both boxers have a decent amateur background, but Wilder is the only one of the two to have medaled in the Summer Olympics.
Wilder has defeated the likes of Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, Siarhei Liakhovich, Audley Harrison, and Kelvin Price. Stiverne has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, and Kertson Manswell. His losses were to Deontay Wilder and Demetrice King, who has a record of 11-15 at the time.
It’s hard to imagine Stiverne having a better shot now, at the age of thirty eight, than he did two years ago, especially with his inactivity. This wasn’t Wilder’s first choice for an opponent, but it’s an opponent that he should feel fairly confident that he can beat, again.
Deontay Wilder: “If Bermane Stiverne Beats Me, I Will Retire.”
By: Sean Crose
“That’s the thing about it,” WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder said on a recent conference call to promote his upcoming rematch with Bermane Stiverne. “You take it in the first place, and you make up excuses, and then the blame is pointed at me. It’s starting to sicken me.” The 38-0 Alabama native was referring to the failed drug tests which have ruined numerous planned matches for him. For both Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, two high level opponents, have tested dirty and ruined their chances to lift Wilder’s title. Infuriating as it may be, accusations that he hasn’t fought top level opposition have clearly taken their toll on Wilder, as well.
“I don’t want to feel this way about boxing,” Wilder claimed, “because I was once in love with it and it’s starting to make me rethink my career.” Wilder went on to present some of the questions that have been running through his mind. “Am I better out of this sport than in this sport because of this stuff that’s going on?” he asked. “Am I that dangerous to other fighters’ careers that they feel they have to do certain things when it comes to Deontay Wilder?”
The 25-2-1 Stiverne, on the other hand, made it clear he’s simply eager to rematch the man who won the title from him back in 2015, via unanimous decision. “I always thought that the fight was never going to happen with Deontay and Ortiz,” he said. “If you asked me from the moment they announced the fight. The first thing I said is, ‘This fight is not going to happen. And I’ve got to get ready for Deontay.’” Stiverne, who has only fought once since losing to Wilder, presented himself as the picture of confidence. “I’m 110% ready mentally and physically,” he stated. “I’m really happy that it happened the way it happened. There was just something there that I knew this was going to happen.”
Whereas Stiverne now has a prime chance at redemption, Wilder has to deal with the fact that the types of new, highly ranked opponents fans have longed to see him face have repeatedly kept themselves from fighting him due to failed drug tests. “This is just another obstacle that I had to deal with,” he said, “that I had to face. I put so much into it. Ortiz had been wanting it; he wanted this fight to happen. I never thought in a million years that he would do what he did.” The 32 year old Wilder showed little patience for those who make excuses for his would-be foes.
“No matter what they say,” Wilder stated, “it was done; it was a banned substance. You can’t get around that. You all make mistakes in there because they tried to get their leverage.” Wilder went on to claim “there are a lot of guys that are doing it though. I know each and every last one of them. There’s a lot of them doing it.” If Wilder is telling the truth, it’s nothing but bad news for the sport of boxing. Regardless, the titlist made it clear that he’s looking forward. “The ultimate goal is to get (Anthony) Joshua,” he said, referring to the reigning heavyweight king. “We’re not just going to be sitting up here and doing this and doing that. I don’t see what’s the difference between me and any other guy.”
“Joshua say he need more time,” Wilder continued, “he ain’t ready. He wants to put himself in a better position. But you already fought a guy that got way more experience than I.” Once again, Wilder’s frustration became clear. “I don’t understand this sport when it comes to me. It feels like I’m better off not being in this sport than being in it. I don’t understand it.”
As for Stiverne, the Wilder rematch, which will go down at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn (and aired on Showtime) on November 4th, represents nothing but good news. “I feel better,” the Vegas (by way of Haiti) fighter said when comparing this training camp to the one before his first fight with Wilder. “Just the workouts and the people we decided to deal with. Everything is so different, man. I feel better. Obviously there’s a couple of mistakes that we made for the first fight. One thing I’m good at man, is not to repeat my mistakes.”
“This is a different Bermane Stiverne,” he claimed.
Of course, if Stiverne is right, if he’s a new man who somehow beats Wilder, the world will clearly be shocked. Wilder himself went so far as to say an upset would lead to him stepping out of the ring entirely. “The way I’m feeling about boxing right now,” he said, “if Bermane Stiverne beats me, I will retire. You can put that down. I will be out of the way.”
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
By: Eric Lunger
It was a weekend of regret, as two bouts on different continents made a mockery of professional boxing. Karl Marx once observed that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. In Russia, Alexander Povetkin, by failing PED screening for a second time in less than a year, made a farce of whatever governing body sanctioned his heavyweight bout. And at the Forum in Los Angeles, veteran Bernard Hopkins was literally knocked out of the ring for the second time is his career, in what was supposed to be some sort of triumphant farewell/ retirement fight.
The Povetkin debacle was hard to fathom from the moment stories broke that he had failed another drug test. Seven months ago Povetkin was caught with meldonium in his veins, a now well-known PED employed systematically, it seems, by Russian athletes. There is something particularly vile about drug cheating in boxing: its one thing if the Russian bobsled team gets a faster start, and quite another thing when a heavyweight boxer has an unfair advantage. Boxing is dangerous enough as it is. Bermane Stiverne, Povetkin’s opponent, had worked very hard to position himself back in line for a WBC title shot, having lost a tough twelve rounder to Deontay Wilder in January of 2015. It also takes guts to enter the lion’s den by traveling to Moscow to face Povetkin in front of a home crowd, so imagine Bermane’s frustration and disgust when he awoke, on fight day no less, to the news that the WBC had withdrawn its sanction for the bout, which, by the way, is the only ray of light in this dark hole.
It appears that the WBC did the right thing immediately by withdrawing their sanction for the bout. Povetkin was on a voluntary random testing regime, a result of his previous violation under the WBC, which is trying to implement a rigorous anti-doping regime by partnering with VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Bizarrely, Povetkin was immediately provided with a replacement opponent, Johann Duhaupas of France, though no one knows why he was in Russia and available. It takes no giant leap of imagination to suppose that World of Boxing, the Russian promotion company that represents Povetkin, was holding Duhaupas in reserve for just such an eventuality. And to end the whole sordid story, Povetkin knocked out Duhaupas in the sixth round, with a vicious and presumably steroid enhanced left hook. Congratulations to a drug cheat.
The Hopkins vs. Smith fight was farce of a different nature, less malevolent but just sad. Sad to see a legend of the ring end his career on such an unnecessarily low note. After being dismantled and slightly embarrassed by Sergey Kovalev in November of 2014, Hopkins just couldn’t stay away. He had something to prove to himself, I suppose, because I can’t imagine anyone in the entire boxing world would have begrudged him his retirement at that point. So Saturday night, after needlessly disrespecting Joe Smith, Jr. at the prefight press conference, we were treated to the ridiculous executioner show, the silly hoods and fake axes, etc. I guess I’m just not a fan of the elaborate ring walk and masks and costumes. And the fight itself was hardly a fight, rather a boxing exhibition – and a bad one at that. Hopkins’s footwork was slow and ponderous, and the head butt in round two looked to me to be intentional, a dirty and unbecoming foul that was depressing to see from such a great champion. I don’t want to bash Hopkins, and I think I can understand how hard it must be for a proud, professional athlete to finally give up a sport that has defined his identity for so long, but when Smith bludgeoned him through the ropes and out of the ring, it felt as though boxing itself had ejected Hopkins from the sport. Only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would argue that Smith pushed him through the ropes. But then, only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would be prize fighting at age 51.
There were several good fights this weekend, and congratulations to Oleksandr Usyk, Joseph Diaz, Jr., and Sullivan Barrera, all of whom put on excellent shows and won technically fine bouts. But shame on Povetkin, and a sad farewell to Hopkins.
Anthony Joshua’s Wish List
Anthony Joshua’s Wish List
By: Jordan Seward
After a dominant performance against Dominic Breazeale (17-1-15KO) in his first defence of the IBF crown, Anthony Joshua (17-0-17KO) is looking for a sterner test in his next outing.
The IBF titlist has been mandated to face unbeaten New Zealander Joseph Parker (19-0-16KO), before a November deadline, but has hinted at the possibility of a voluntary defence first.
Joshua, 26, attained the IBF world heavyweight title with a 2nd round knockout of ‘Prince’ Charles Martin back in April at the O2 Arena.
The knockout specialist has been touted as the next big thing in boxing but so far, in his professional career he is yet to be tested.
Arguably, the biggest test to date was when Joshua met bitter rival Dillian Whyte in December last year, but now he is eager to show his credentials against stronger opposition.
Bermaine Stiverne (25-2-1-21KO) has been lined up as a next ideal opponent for the IBF king. Stiverne, has openly admitted to being interested in taking the fight and has started a camp for a potential fight with Joshua.
The former WBC world champion was outlined as a good opponent by the Joshua camp for his durability. The American took heavy hitting Deontay Wilder the full distance in January last year, despite eventually losing by unanimous decision.
Stiverne suffered from severe dehydration throughout the fight with Wilder which seemed to effect his performance. ‘B. WARE’ has hit back at claims that he is just durable and has insisted he still has aspirations on becoming a two-time world champion.
The 37-year-old has not been in the ring since his unanimous decision victory over Derric Rossy in November last year. Nonetheless, if a fight between the pair materialises it is believed Stiverne would present the biggest challenge of Joshua’s professional career.
Another potential opponent for Joshua is Eric Molina (25-3-19KO). Molina, like Stiverne was beaten by Wilder in his first defence of the WBC title. The current IBF inter-continental heavyweight champion was seen as an easy first defence for Wilder, but managed to take the fight 9 rounds before being knocked out.
Wilder was heavily criticised for his performance against Molina, but the victory has since looked better after ‘The Drummer Boy’ defeated Polish heavyweight Tomasz Adamek. Molina was in the running to be Joshua’s first defence of the IBF title and remains a possible option.
Kubrat Pulev’s (23-1-0-12KO) name is also on the list of potential opponents. The Bulgarian recently strolled to victory against England’s Dereck Chisora to claim the vacant European heavyweight title.
Although there is no one of real significance that Pulev has got the better of, aside from Tony Thompson, the only blemish on his record is a defeat to Wladimir Klitschko which came back in 2014.
It’s not clear who will become Joshua’s next opponent, but out of the contenders on his wish list Bermane Stiverne has emerged as the most likely. Whoever it is, Stiverne, Pulev or Molina, they would all be a step up in class from Breazeale and give Joshua his first real test.