Trevor Bryan became WBA ‘Regular’ Heavyweight champion, in a week where controversy reigned and Boxing politics reared its ugly head as he stopped Bermane Stiverne in eleven rounds.
2021 is barely a month old and already the sport of boxing has been plunged into embarrassment.
After the debacle of Manuel Charr finally not travelling to America to defend his WBA heavyweight title for the first time since the back end of 2017.
Don King hastily arranged for Charr’s scheduled opponent, Trevor Bryan, to face faded former WBC champion, Bermane Stiverne.
The controversy came on the day of the fight, as King managed to persuade the WBA to make Charr a “champion in recess” thus allowing interim champion Bryan and Stiverne to contest the vacant version of Charr’s belt. Confused? You should be.
To the fight itself, both men were coming off lengthy layoffs, Bryan last fought in August 2018, claiming the interim crown with a win over the blown up Cruiserweight, BJ Flores.
While Stiverne was last seen in February 2019, in a one sided sixth round loss to Joe Joyce in a Commonwealth title tilt.
Bryan began in measured fashion, trying to establish his jab in what was a largely uneventful opening round.
Bryan began opening up to Stiverne’s body in the second, but Stiverne landed a couple of stiff right hands to the chin of the New Yorker, and he landed more meaty shots to close the session.
Bryan’s movement was slow, allowing Stiverne to land chopping shots over the top of the Bryan defence, and the Las Vegas-based Haitian was growing in confidence.
Bryan mainly targeted the body of his opponent in the fourth, but the rounds were difficult to score with both men working in short bursts, Bryan was working well enough off his jab without landing much in the way of power shots.
Bermane was beginning to slow somewhat, and the sixth saw Bryan land better combinations to stop Stiverne’s offence.
A big short right hand finally found the mark for Bryan in the seventh, but Stiverne responded towards the end of the frame with a hard right of his own.
Still, Bryan’s jab was his most offensive weapon, and he continued to implement it, but Stiverne was still lively and landed on the counter to keep Bryan on his mettle.
Both men were tiring going into the championship rounds, and although Bryan was in charge off his jab, he would occasionally go to sleep and allow Stiverne to land his right hands over the top of a lazy defence, and the two finally exchanged to close the ninth.
Stiverne’s mouth was open as his tank emptied, while Bryan continued with his jab and move tactics.
The conclusion of the contest came suddenly, with Bryan trebling up on his jab to open the penultimate round, and then landing a big right hand through Stiverne’s guard, which hurt the former champion.
Several follow up rights took Stiverne’s legs away and forced him to the canvas. He beat the count, but was still on unsteady legs, and a short, chopping right hand left him flat on his back. He bravely beat the count again, but a short follow up attack forced the referee to step in.
One thing is for certain, Bryan is in no way shape or form ready for the likes of WBA ‘Super’ Champion, Anthony Joshua, WBC champion, Tyson Fury, or anyone approaching the top level of heavyweights, and he is more than likely going to have to face Charr before even thinking of taking on the highly ranked big men.
The undercard was decimated by the withdrawal of Beibut Shumenov, and the Kazakh was stripped of his WBA Cruiserweight title as his voluntary challenger, Raphael Murphy, pulled out on the week of the fight.
There were only two preliminary fights on the card.
At cruiserweight, Johnnie Langston took a six round decision win against DeShon Webster by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
At bantamweight, Texas-based Cuban Joahyns Argilagos took all four rounds against Ernie Marquez to move to 6-0 as a professional.