FORMER WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne insists he will be able to redeem himself after a tame one round capitulation to Deontay Wilder in 2017. He hasn’t fought since then but is due to box Joe Joyce on the James DeGale-Chris Eubank Jnr February 23 undercard.
“I wish to apologise to my fans and supporters for sending an impostor into the ring when I challenged for the world title against Deontay Wilder for the world title in my last fight,” he declared. “That was not me but a shadow of myself… Someone else. My mind was not attached to my body. My heart was not in the fight. I was there in name only.”
He claims he has refocused since then. “Following the bout I searched my soul and vowed I would either never fight again or dedicate my life – as never before – to regaining my world heavyweight title. I decided to go after the championship,” he said. “With every ounce of my being I have dedicated myself to this comeback. I have worked spiritually, mentally, personally and physically to this goal.
“I have gone to the mountains, the desert, dieted, lived a life of sacrifice and deprivation to mould myself into a fighting machine. I have boxed a thousand rounds, run hundreds of miles and worked my body into the greatest shape of my career in pursuit of my world heavyweight title.
“I have told my promoter – Don King – to get me any man on earth and I will fight for the right to prove myself to the world. No champion, no contender, no prospect would box me.
“For the past fourteen months I have lived in the gym and the training camp. Conditioning myself to box any man alive – but there were no takers.
“My frustration and anger are at the bursting point. I have worked my body into a machine of destruction.
“Thousands of sit ups, push ups, tons of weights lifted, dozens of sparring partner battered and beaten, endless days in the gym and hundred of miles run. I am crazed to get back in the ring and redeem myself – and regain my heavyweight championship of the world.
“Pounding the speed bag, battering the heavy bag, shaping my body and mind into machines of destruction.
“But no one will fight me.”
An offer however eventually came in from Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce. “Then, the phone rings – my promoter Don King. Joe Joyce – a boxer with only 7 bouts – agrees to meet me,” Stiverne said. “Seven bouts? Seven fights – and he has the audacity to box me?
“I will knock out Joe Joyce and step over him to KO Anthony Joshua.
“I am primed and ready. The real Bermane will be there on February 23 and will knock out Joe Joyce enroute to regaining my heavyweight crown.”