Wilder vs Stiverne 2 | Preview, analysisWritten by Joseph Herron
After current IBF, WBA and IBO Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) dispatched of perennial contender Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) in ten rounds via technical stoppage this past weekend, many critics and fans have begun banging the proverbial drum for a unification bout between the UK favorite versus the reigning WBC title holder, Deontay Wilder.
Former two-division world titlist and Showtime color commentator Paulie Malignaggi reminds every interested fight fan to "pump their brakes" before demanding a unification contest between the two popular champions.
Malignaggi chimes in
"Hey, that would be great...but let's see how Wilder does against Stiverne first," Malignaggi recently stated to FightHype online. "Stiverne is the only man to take Wilder the distance, and was admittedly having some issues before their first fight together...so let's see what happens with this fight first before we start talking about a unification bout with Joshua."
The undefeated American hopeful is slated to defend his green belt against former titlist Bermane Stiverne this Saturday night, November 4, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, which will be presented by Showtime Championship Boxing.
Stiverne: One of 38 opponents
A lot like his British counterpart, Wilder has been virtually perfect in the ring, scoring 37 knockouts in his 38 professional attempts. The only difference being this weekend's opponent, Haitian born Stiverne, who remains the only fighter to ever take Deontay to the final bell.
The native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama initially won the coveted championship title from the 39 year old puncher in January of 2015 by earning an impressive points decision, in which Wilder seemed to use the entire ring proficiently while landing the cleaner and more effective punches throughout the twelve round affair.
Unfortunately for fans of the former title holder, Wilder will more than likely earn a more decisive and impressive victory this time.
Unlike Wilder vs Stiverne I ...
Leading into the first bout between the two big punching Heavyweights, Stiverne was the incumbent champ and largely viewed as the more experienced man, with two decisive victories over Chris Arreola and KO wins over Ray Austin and Kertson Manswell. In comparison, Wilder's most notable wins were against former titlist Sergei Liakhovich and former Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison.
Wilder vs Stiverne 2 (stories)
November 4, 2017
9PM ET Eastern Time / 6PM PT
Barclays Center, NYC
Wilder vs Stiverne I: Highlights, stats
Since that time, Stiverne has only competed once professionally, with a shaky performance against experienced journeyman Derric Rossy two years ago, while Wilder has fought five times and scored five knock-out victories.
A foregone conclusion
Further comparing the two fighters, Deontay is seemingly in his athletic prime heading into this Saturday night's rematch, while Stiverne will walk in the ring just one year shy of 40.
Also, when analyzing this weekend's Heavyweight showdown, the style match-up dramatically favors the reigning champion.
Deontay seemingly has the advantage from mid to long range and can ostensibly control the action from a distance, while Stiverne is a pocket counter-puncher who depends on an aggressive opponent for his success in the ring.
With a healthy five inch height and six inch reach advantage, expect Wilder to once again force Bermane out of the pocket and uncomfortably adopt the role of aggressor. While attempting to unsuccessfully cut off the ring and close the distance against his fleet footed and athletically gifted opponent, look for Stiverne to ultimately catch a healthy dose of straight right hands before getting stopped in the mid to late rounds of this unnecessary return bout.
Rematch prediction: Wilder TKO 9 over Stiverne