I’M COM­ING FOR YOU!

Deon­tay Wilder calls out An­thony Joshua after de­stroy­ing old foe Ber­mane Stiverne

Boxing News - - Contents - Jack Hirsch

DEON­TAY WILDER turned in one of the most destruc­tive per­for­mances the heavy­weight di­vi­sion has seen in years, de­stroy­ing Ber­mane Stiverne at 2-59 of the first round, then im­me­di­ately called out An­thony Joshua. Hope­fully Joshua and his team ac­cept the chal­lenge, which would not only re­sult in a uni­ver­sally ac­cepted world heavy­weight cham­pion, but also an­swer the ques­tion of who is the best man in the di­vi­sion.

On this night, Wilder’s big­gest op­po­nent was him­self. Win­ning would not be enough, he had to stop Stiverne who was the only man to ever go the dis­tance with him in his pro­fes­sional ca­reer. Wilder promised to do it in style, and so it proved.

Stiverne, who looked flabby com­pared to the rock-hard Tuscaloosa man, sim­ply never got started. He did have Wilder mov­ing back for most of the first two min­utes, but he of­fered no of­fence whatsover. All the time, the de­fend­ing WBC heavy­weight cham­pion was care­fully mea­sur­ing his op­po­nent, keep­ing him on the end of a stiff jab, wait­ing for an open­ing to land his first power punch. And when he did the car­nage en­sued; the dev­as­ta­tion of his at­tack leav­ing the close to 11,000 at the Bar­clays Cen­ter in awe of what they were wit­ness­ing.

A straight right down the slot sent Stiverne, based in Mi­ami, skid­ding to the can­vas, badly shaken. He got up with a min­i­mum of en­thu­si­asm. For all in­tents and pur­poses it was over as Wilder rushed to him, stopped, then dropped his hands in a show of games­man­ship. Without the slight­est con­cern of any re­turn­ing fire, Wilder brought up a left hook from the floor that crashed into Stiverne’s jaw, then a mas­sive right that, though blocked, car­ried such force that the for­mer WBC ti­tle holder could not re­main up­right.

If Stiverne is to be given any credit at all, it would be in the fact that he got up from the sec­ond knock­down. It de­layed the in­evitable, al­low­ing Wilder to end

it in style. Wilder ad­vanced for­ward, then took a step to the right to get more lever­age on the blows. A three-punch com­bi­na­tion of a left up­per­cut, straight right, and left hook sent Stiverne down for the third time in the con­test. Ref­eree Arthur Mer­cante Jnr had a hard time res­train­ing an an­i­mated Wilder, grab­bing Deon­tay and walk­ing him across the ring to en­cour­age the big man to calm down.

“No more hid­ing,” said Wilder re­fer­ring to Joshua. “Let’s see who’s the best. I’ll go to Eng­land to prove it.”

If Joshua does not step up, Wilder’s next con­test will prob­a­bly be against

Do­minic Breazeale. The Cal­i­for­nian put him­self into po­si­tion by stop­ping Texan Eric Molina after eight rounds of a sched­uled 12 in an elim­i­na­tor that high­lighted the lack of depth in the heavy­weight class - be­tween them, Breazeale and Molina have al­ready been thrashed three times in bids for ti­tles.

It was a slow-paced bout, that the rang­ier Breazeale con­trolled most of the time. Molina landed an oc­ca­sional hard right and tried to rough up Breazeale, but did not have the ta­lent to get the job done. In the eighth, a pair of rights to the tem­ple dropped Molina for an eight count. He never fully re­cov­ered and it was stopped at the end of the round.

Shawn Porter bent down in pain after land­ing a left hook to the chin of Adrian Grana­dos, dur­ing the sixth round of their WBC wel­ter­weight ti­tle elim­i­na­tor, later say­ing the hand was in­jured. But to say it al­tered his per­for­mance sig­nif­i­cantly would be a stretch. Porter, from Las Ve­gas, had an in­sur­mount­able lead up to that point, and con­tin­ued to use the hand un­til the 11th, when he shut down and coasted to the fi­nal bell. All three judges notched him a 117-111 win­ner as Gary Rosato ref­er­eed.

Grana­dos from Chicago, should be given high grades for fin­ish­ing strongly, but the bot­tom line is that he rarely landed an ef­fec­tive blow. Next stop for Porter is sup­posed to be a re­match with cham­pion Keith Thur­man, who prob­a­bly will be al­lowed to have a vol­un­tary de­fence first.

Boos rained down from the rafters after it was an­nounced that Rus­sian

Sergey Lipinets had won the va­cant IBF su­per-light­weight ti­tle by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over Tokyo’s Ak­i­hiro Kondo. But you could not be sure if they were dis­put­ing the fair­ness of the de­ci­sion or the lop­sided scores of judges’ Car­los Or­tiz (118-110), Tony Pao­lillo and John Po­tu­raj (both 117-111). Box­ing News had Lipinets win­ning 116-112. Ricky Gon­za­lez ref­er­eed.

When they butted heads in the sixth round, re­sult­ing in Lipinets sus­tain­ing a nasty gash on his fore­head, it looked like it would not go to the cards. But the cut was kept un­der con­trol. Lipinets piled up points with his jab and re­sponded to Kondo’s good mo­ments by land­ing blows of his own.

Kondo, box­ing in the United States for the first time, had suc­cess and his per­for­mance ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tion, but the right man got the de­ci­sion.

Brook­lyn’s Amanda Ser­rano dropped the Bronx’s Mar­lyn

Her­nan­dez three times in the open­ing round of a sched­uled 10, forc­ing a stop­page at 2-38 of that ses­sion.

THE VER­DICT: Wilder de­stroys Stiverne in bru­tally one-sided mis­match.

Photo: PBC/ RYAN HAFEY

ONE-SIDED: Wilder screams as Stiverne hits the deck

Pho­tos: SHOW­TIME/TOM CASINO

TAR­GET PRAC­TICE: Wilder takes aim at the ut­terly hap­less Stiverne

COME AND GET IT: Wilder shows off a belt miss­ing from Joshua’s col­lec­tion

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