THE heavyweight division has a new sheriff in town. Deontay Wilder dominated Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds to win the WBC title and prove a lot of doubters wrong. Prior to this bout, knockout artist Wilder had never been beyond four rounds but he exhibited patience and sound boxing skills to dominate and become America’s first heavyweight titlist since Shannon Briggs in 2006.
“I’m so excited to bring this belt back to America, officially,” said Wilder after his triumph. “And guess what? I’ve got some of the best fans in the world.
“I think I answered a lot of questions tonight. I already knew it. I already knew I could go 12 rounds. I already knew I could take a punch. I already knew I could give it. All the hard work is done in camp and when you get in the ring, that’s supposed to be fun. Did it look like I had fun? I really did.
“I thought I could take him out but when I realised he could take a hard punch I thought ‘We’re in it for the long run.’ We trained for 12, 15, 20 rounds. I was not tired, I was not fatigued.
“We knew he was going to try and come. We knew Stiverne was tough and I’ve got to give it to him, he’s got a great chin. I just appreciate him for accepting the challenge. I don’t think there’s a better opponent I could have had than Bermane Stiverne. He was tough but I just wanted to show the world what Deontay Wilder was capable of and I proved that tonight. I don’t want nobody to doubt me no more.”
Wilder could be pushed towards a unification showdown with Wladimir Klitschko at the end of 2015 in what would be a massive event. The American, though, just wants to stay busy.
“I’m ready to fight now. I want to fight three, four, five times a year. I’m ready whenever.”
Stiverne, meanwhile, said he didn’t feel “100 per cent” in the ring but gave Wilder credit.
“I congratulate him,” he said of his conqueror. “I’ll have to go back and learn from my mistakes… I was trying to throw combinations with four or five punches but I could only throw two of them. I don’t know. I was flat.
“Mentally I was ready but physically it was a totally different scenario.
“It wasn’t me in there tonight.”