The Star Early Edition
Wilder makes short work of poor Stiverne
OVER: The referee pulls Deontay Wilder away from Bermane Stiverne after Wilder knocked him out on Saturday. Picture: AP NEW YORK: When Deontay Wilder finally took off the gold mask he wore into the ring, he displayed a fierce scowl.
That look never disappeared from his face as he knocked out the only man who’d ever gone the distance with him.
Wilder sent Bermane Stiverne to the canvas three times in the opening round to defend his WBC heavyweight title Saturday night at Barclays Center.
“So much frustration, it just seemed like my career, it’s been crazy . so many guys using PEDs,” Wilder said. “I just want to prove that I am the best. I know I am the best, but I wanna prove I am the best.”
There wasn’t much question of that in the Showtime card that ended in spectacular fashion.
The 32-year-old Wilder jabbed through much of the first round while Stiverne, who hadn’t fought in two years, moved slowly and cautiously around the ring. Suddenly, Wilder lashed out with a huge right that felled Stiverne (25-3-1).
Already, Wilder was celebrating, but Stiverne got up. Unwisely, it turned out, because another big right as part of a flurry of punches sent the 38-yearold challenger back down.
At that point, Wilder climbed atop the ropes in a neutral corner, shouting at Stiverne’s trainer to end things.
When they didn’t, another right and then a mammoth left hook sent down the challenger for the final time with his “Alabama Slammer”.
“One champion, one face, one name, he goes by Deontay Wilder,” the WBC champ said.
Wilder won the belt from Stiverne in 2015 in a 12-round decision. He repeatedly insisted Stiverne would go down early in this one. Wilder kept his word. He is 39-0 with 38 knockouts. Wilder now can set his sights on something he has been promising throughout 2017: unifying the heavyweight belts. He wants England’s Anthony Joshua, the WBA/IBF champ, sometime next year, and was busy issuing challenges after disposing of Stiverne.
“I’ve been waiting on that fight for a long time now,” he said. “I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge?
“I know I’m the champion, I know I’m the best. Are you up for the test?”
This was Wilder’s sixth defence, and his most ferocious. Stiverne never had a chance. He was a substitute for Jose Ortiz, who failed a drug test.
Stiverne did not land a punch and never should have bothered showing up.
Earlier, Sergey Lipinets won a unanimous decision over Akihiro Kondo for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title – AP