If you were to tell me over a year ago that there would be high anticipation for a heavyweight title fight that did not involve a participant with the surname ‘Klitschko’, I would have assumed that the long-reigning Wladimir Klitschko had either retired or been knocked off his throne.
So far that hasn’t happened but a threat could be emerging in the form of either reigning WBC champion Bermane Stiverne or undefeated power-puncher Deontay Wilder.
Both fighters seem to have created divisive opinions among fans regarding who will win their fight this Saturday. Those picking Wilder are going with Deontay’s record for not having gone past the fourth round in all 32 of his contests. They figure that while Stiverne is most likely the best opponent of his career, Wilder’s power will ultimately be the deciding factor.
Those picking Stiverne are looking at the champion’s experience compared to Wilder’s. While Stiverne has not had as many fights as Wilder-they feel that he has more experience against better opposition. They also feel that Wilder might the product of an overzealous boxing media looking for an American heavyweight to latch their hopes onto after the European stranglehold the Klitschko brothers have held for almost the past decade.
Looking at both sides, I’ve come to see how both sides have come to their conclusion. If you’re picking Stiverne, you’re with a champion who feels like he still has to prove himself after being-perhaps-overlooked by Chris Arreola the first time they met. In their rematch, Stiverne showed that he was a force, stopping Arreola in six rounds. He most likely felt like he was just being brought in to make the more known Arreola look good the first two times and now that he’s being brought in to be another victim for a hype-job.
If you’re picking Wilder, you’re going with someone who has a career being built-up like something out of a Hollywood movie; a late start in the sport, earning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and getting a reputation as a fighter with 100% knockout ratio.
If it were me in his position, I would imagine that this must be what it felt like to be a young Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson before their first title fight, like this was my best destiny.
And that’s why I’m picking Wilder. I feel that he has it drilled into his head that this is his destiny and that anything other than victory would be the worst thing that ever happened to him. He would love to keep his KO streak going as long as his career lasts. It’s the sort of thing that people just look at and admire and that’s exactly what Wilder wants.
I feel that Bermane is going to spend the early rounds moving around, knowing that the longer the fight goes on, the better his chances are of Wilder tiring out and becoming more open to a knockout punch due to not having the experience.
If Wilder tries to swarm him, he has to be careful not to get into exchanges. However I don’t see that happening. I feel that Stiverne will try to catch Wilder with counter-shots but that they won’t be enough to stop him from being driven into the corner before Deontay Wilder unleashes a barrage of punches that drops him for the count.
Wilder by KO in 5