Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) made a big statement when he knocked out Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) in the first round.
The fight was a rematch of their 2015 meeting, where Wilder captured the WBC title from Stiverne with a twelve round unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
Stiverne was the only man to last the distance with Wilder, but this time he couldn’t last one round. In fact Stiverne wasn’t able to land a single punch.
Wilder was walking him down with his long, rangey jab in the opening minute of the round. Wilder followed his jab with a huge straight right that dropped Stiverne into the ropes which saved him from falling out the ring. Stiverne got up and appeared very hurt, and it didn’t take long for Stiverne to get dropped for a second time after several more punches landed.
Wilder stared into Stiverne’s eyes for a few seconds as to wait for a challenge and the fear showed in Stiverne.
Once the action restarted near the end of the first, Wilder went right after him with vicious combinations and drilled him with huge shots to drop Stiverne against the ropes for a third time. This time Stiverne was out, and the fight was quickly waved off.
More impressive for me was Wilder’s post fight call out of Anthony Joshua, not only “Declaring War” but even committing to coming to the UK for the fight, willing to fight Joshua next, and wanting no excuses.
Wilder said he was out to impress, and he did, he said he was out to make a statement and he did that as well. More importantly his fist rang a thunderous awakening to the Heavyweight Division and boxing fans alike. If you didn’t know his name before you will now remember Deontay Wilder.