Wilder to de­fend WBC heavy­weight crown

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

NEW YORK, Oct 7, 2017 (AFP) - Un­de­feated cham­pion Deon­tay Wilder will de­fend his World Box­ing Coun­cil heavy­weight crown with a re­match against Haitian­born Cana­dian Ber­mane Stiverne next month, pro­mot­ers an­nounced.

Wilder, 38- 0 with 37 knock­outs, was due to face Luis Or­tiz, but the Cuban south­paw tested pos­i­tive for banned di­uret­ics of­ten used as steroid mask­ing agents, be­com­ing the third Wilder chal­lenger in the past 18 months to test pos­i­tive and scup­per a planned ti­tle bout for the Amer­i­can.

Stiverne, 25-2 with one drawn and 21 knock­outs, was on the un­der­card but will move into the main event on the Novem­ber 4 event at Brook­lyn's Bar­clays Cen­ter.

"Stiverne will pay for Luis Or­tiz screw­ing up," Wilder said.

A vic­tory for Wilder could set the stage for a 2018 uni­fi­ca­tion show­down against the reign­ing In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion and World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion cham­pion An­thony Joshua, who is 19-0 with ev­ery win by knock­out.

"De­spite all of th­ese ob­sta­cles that are thrown in my path, it still will not stop me from reach­ing my ultimate goal, which is to be the undis­puted heavy­weight cham­pion of the world," Wilder said.

Wilder be­gan his reign in Jan­uary 2015 by tak­ing the WBC crown with a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion tri­umph over Stiverne in Las Ve­gas -- the only fight in Wilder's pro ca­reer to go the dis­tance and one where he suf­fered a bro­ken right hand.

"In the first fight, I broke my hand in the third round and I still dom­i­nated. That was a lot of the rea­son why it went the dis­tance," Wilder said.

"This time it's a dif­fer­ent day, dif­fer­ent time and dif­fer­ent fight. This time it won't end well for him."

Stiverne, the WBC manda­tory ti­tle chal­lenger who was paid to step aside so Wilder could face Or­tiz, was hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter the first fight for se­vere de­hy­dra­tion and mus­cle dam­age.

He has not fought in two years but has pushed for a ti­tle re­match.

"Stiverne asked for it, so he's go­ing to get it," Wilder said. "What­ever hap­pens I'm re­lieved to be get­ting my manda­tory out of the way. At least now I won't have to deal with that down the road."

Stiverne, who was to have faced Amer­i­can Do­minic Breazeale, won the WBC crown in 2014 by knock­ing out Amer­i­can Chris Arre­ola.

"I am ready, will­ing and able to seize back my ti­tle from Wilder," Stiverne said. "Wilder dodged a bul­let in the first fight, but not this time. It was my fault, but I learn from my mis­takes."

It will be the sixth ti­tle de­fense for Wilder, who saw a sched­uled May 2016 bout in Moscow against Rus­sian Alexan­der Povetkin and a planned bout last Fe­bru­ary in his home re­gion at Birm­ing­ham, Alabama, against Poland's An­drzej Wawrzyk both im­plode af­ter his ri­vals failed dop­ing tests.

Deon­tan Wilder

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