I’M COMING FOR YOU!
Deontay Wilder calls out Anthony Joshua after destroying old foe Bermane Stiverne
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.
ONE-SIDED: Wilder screams as Stiverne hits the deck
TARGET PRACTICE: Wilder takes aim at the utterly hapless Stiverne
COME AND GET IT: Wilder shows off a belt missing from Joshua’s collection