Stiverne vs. Wilder prediction: Head to Head

Joseph Herron Updated
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Tonight, Saturday, January 17, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, incumbent WBC Heavyweight Champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) will defend his coveted distinction against undefeated knock-out artist Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) in the main event of a solid triple header on Showtime Championship Boxing. The live broadcast, Stiverne vs Wilder, is slated to begin at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with Super Lightweight talent Amir “The Young Master” Imam (15-0, 13 KOs) vs. Fidel Madonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs) kicking off the action.

The co-main event of the evening will feature two-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jesus Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs).

Although “The Bronze Bomber”, who is currently sitting at (-185) on most Race and Sports Books, will be the slight betting favorite leading into this evening’s headlining bout, “B-Ware” Stiverne (+160) has the power to neutralize any opponent’s strengths with one perfectly timed right hand bomb at anytime during a twelve round contest.

The two heavy-handed fighters began their athletic pursuit in other sports, and consequently learned the sweet science at a relatively late age. But because of their natural athletic gifts, Stiverne and Wilder were able to adapt and compete at a very high level with an accelerated pace.

Since both men will be carrying a genuine disdain for their opponent into the ring, the variable of emotion could be a big factor in this intriguing championship bout.

Armed with KO power in either fist, tonight’s highly anticipated showdown between the reigning WBC title holder and the American hopeful could be decided by the first clean shot landed.

Will Stiverne vs Wilder end with a dramatic KO, or will it go the distance?

Let’s take a look at the “Tale of the Tape”!!

Tale of the Tape

(+160) Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) - The 36 year old WBC title holder is a native of La Plaine, Haiti, but currently resides and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bermane stands 6’2” tall in the center of the ring, fights behind an 80” reach and uses an orthodox stance.

Coached by veteran trainer Don House, the athletically gifted Heavyweight is a cerebral fighter who likes to set traps for his opponents, while using an explosive combination of hand speed and power to neutralize his adversary’s strengths.

Throughout his 9 year professional career, Bermane has shown world class physical and mental durability. Although he was stopped while competing at the eight round level in 2007, the defending title holder has displayed a solid beard and good conditioning during the great majority of his tenure in the fight game.

Although Bermane is one of the more athletic and intelligent fighters in the Heavyweight division, his strengths can also be interpreted as his weaknesses. Because he is an explosive counter puncher, combining speed with power, Stiverne often sacrifices punch volume.

The heavy handed fighter will often have periods of inactivity during a three minute round, electing to lay on the ropes without moving his head and upper body.

Because the incumbent champ customarily likes to use the ropes to set traps for his opposition, the normally effective tactic could put him in harm’s way against a very tall, rangy fighter like Wilder who prefers to fight from a distance.

Stiverne has a good punch arsenal for a Heavyweight and can throw in combination to the body and head. But his two favorite punches are the quick, sweeping right hand to the jaw, and the compact left hook to the body and head.

Despite being a predominate counter puncher, Bermane will more than likely be forced to adopt the role of aggressor in this match-up, and attempt to work his way underneath his much taller opponent’s defense. To do this, the Haitian born puncher will have to move his feet, upper body, and head more frequently than he has shown in previous outings.

Can Bermane Stiverne uncharacteristically take the lead while cutting off the ring and closing the distance proficiently against a very dangerous puncher like Deontay Wilder in tonight’s main event?

(-185) Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) - The 29 year old knock-out artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, stands 6’6 ½” tall in the center of the ring and fights behind an 83” reach while using an orthodox stance.

The athletically gifted, former basketball player has one punch knock-out power in both hands, and customarily likes to use his height and reach to his advantage. Deontay possesses some of the best footwork in the division, which serves as the foundation for his defense.

Unlike his opponent, Wilder doesn’t look to counter his opposition while sitting in the pocket. He uses his feet to move in and out of range, while controlling distance with his long, rangy jab.

And although Deontay’s offensive arsenal consists primarily of three punches, the jab, left hook and straight right hand, the trio has been effective in maneuvering his career into title contention.

Despite owning a perfect record with a 100% knock-out ratio, many fight scribes and detractors have questioned his ability to compete at the world class level. Despite having impressive KO victories over former WBO champ Sergei Liakhovich and American contender Malik Scott, most critics believe Wilder hasn’t been tested properly, and remain undecided as to whether or not the young Heavyweight possesses the physical and mental durability to compete at the elite level.

Will Deontay Wilder pass what most consider to be his toughest test to date, and become the new WBC Heavyweight Champion?

Keys to Victory

Bermane Stiverne - To be successful in retaining his WBC title this evening, the Vegas resident will not only have to slip and counter effectively, but will also have to show more movement and a much greater punch output than he has in the past against much taller opponents.

In 2011, Stiverne’s deficiencies when trying to cut off the ring and close the distance effectively were shockingly apparent the last time he fought an adversary who stood over 6’6” tall. The athletically underwhelming Ray Austin managed to control range against Stiverne by using the jab effectively to the body and head, while utilizing his footwork and height to stay out of harm’s way for the great majority of the fight.

Although Bermane did eventually stop the oafish “Rainman” in the tenth round of their 2011 meeting, the current champ caught way too many clean shots from the not-so-heavy handed Ray Austin in the process of closing the show.

If Bermane wants to hold on to his WBC belt tonight, he absolutely must move his upper body and head more frequently than he displayed against Ray Austin, and choose to work behind his jab more frequently as well.

Although it’s always dangerous just to flick out the jab when facing a much taller and rangier opponent, Bermane must establish the lead left hand…doubling and tripling it at times in sporadic intervals.

Stiverne has to give Wilder something to think about while he attempts to close the distance.

Also, Wilder has a bad habit of dropping his right hand as he throws out the lead left hand. If Stiverne can slip the jab and counter with an immediate left hook to Wilder’s jaw, it could be “lights out” for the “Bronze Bomber”.

If the reigning champ can move his upper body and head more frequently, while cutting off the ring and closing the distance more intelligently than he’s shown in the past, Bermane Stiverne could move himself into punching range and knock-out his opponent to retain the WBC Heavyweight title!!

Deontay Wilder - To become the new WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay has to be the “Bronze Bomber” in the ring. Wilder’s tall, rangy fight style is super effective against a much shorter counter puncher like Bermane Stiverne. If the almost 6’7” puncher uses his footwork to move in and out of range effectively, while working behind a mixture of jabs and feints, he should be able to set up enough straight right hands to do the job.

But Wilder cannot become complacent in this fight. Stiverne will often take long breaks during each round without throwing a single punch, almost drawing his opposition into a false sense of security.

As soon as Bermane’s opponents start to get comfortable and let their hands go with regularity, he surprises them with an explosive, sweeping right hand on the inside.

Deontay Wilder has to keep the fight at a safe distance to take home the WBC title this evening. If the Alabama native can control range with his jab and footwork, while landing the occasional overhand or straight right hand, he will become the new WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world.

Stiverne vs Wilder Prediction

Predictions are usually quite difficult to make in the Heavyweight division…especially when the match-up is viewed by most as a virtual coin flip.

Although one can never discount the physical and mental durability or punching power of a legitimate title holder like Bermane Stiverne, he simply doesn’t have the size or fight style to be effective against a very athletic and smart fighter who controls range extremely well like Deontay Wilder.

If the Bronze Bomber doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him and is able to stick to his gameplan throughout every second of tonight’s main event, Deontay Wilder will have his arm raised in victory after a mid to late round stoppage…via left hook, straight right hand combination.

Wilder TKO 9 over Stiverne

What's your prediction? Let us know...


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