Tomorrow night could prove to be a defining night in recent Heavyweight boxing history, as the ‘Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder takes on Bermane Stiverne for the WBC version of the title.
The skeptics will say that this is Wilder’s first real test after blowing away 32 opponents unanswered within 4 rounds. Stiverne’s rise has been less high profile, with a respectable 23-1 record; but notably 21 knockouts in there also.
This points towards fireworks and possibly early doors. Is Wilder a 6 round fighter who could gas in the later rounds if he doesn’t get Bermane out of there early?
Or is Stiverne a paper champion who doesn’t belong amongst the elite of the heavyweight world?
One factor working in his favour is that his Manager is a certain Don King; a legend of the sport even if mostly for the wrong reasons. King’s charisma is still as ripe as ever well into his 80’s, and he has certainly raised the profile of this fight to the point where the casual public’s interest is piqued slightly.
If Wilder was victorious and an American became Heavyweight champion for the first time since Shannon Briggs in 2006, it could give the division the shot in the arm it has been so in need of since the Klitschko domination over the past decade or so.
He is young enough, with a following growing by the day that could get more exposure in the division. With potential fights against Tyson Fury or even David Haye if he returns in the future, in his eyeline Heavyweight boxing could becoming very interesting again.
We shall see tomorrow night……