In a fight that nobody expected to go more than a few rounds, Deyontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder won the WBC heavyweight championship belt, defeating Bermane Stiverne in a unanimous 12 round decision. 8,453 people packed the MGM to witness the first heavyweight title fight the venue had hosted since Holyfield/Tyson II in 1997. Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs), from Tuscaloosa, Ala., became the first American to hold the heavyweight belt since Shannon Briggs in 2006. He’s also the first undefeated American heavyweight champion since Michael Moorer in 1994.
To everyone’s surprise, the Bomber decided to box all 12 rounds, keeping a measured and calm pace, moving backward and jabbing Stiverne throughout the entire fight. Only on a few occasions did Wilder throw the heavy “knockout” punch that has dispatched all opponents before him. This is probably due to respect for Stiverne’s noted counterpunching power, and a desire to prove to the world that he is more than a one-dimensional fighter who throws a single, sledgehammer punch. Deontay did it and did it well, with one judge giving him every round.
Deontay brings the heavyweight belt back to America with his win, and should prove to be a great champion with both charisma and class. At this stage, this writer does not believe he is ready to fight Klitchko to unify the belt, as Klitchko’s style of coming in behind a heavy jab and mauling opponents on the inside with heavy shots could prove difficult for the Bomber. My thoughts would be at least two defenses of his title on American soil before facing Klitchko.
At the end of the day, a prediction that the entire JabJabber staff made years ago came true, Deontay Wilder is heavyweight champ.
Credit to Deontay Wilder’s Facebook page for the image.