Deontay Wilder promised destruction and he delivered.
Wilder not only defended his WBC heavyweight title against Bermane Stiverne, but he did so by delivering one of the biggest beatdowns in the sport this year. The fight headlined a Showtime Championship Boxing card held at the Brooklyn Center in Brooklyn, New York.
It only took one round for Wilder to crush Stiverne. Wilder began the fight by repeatedly using his massive reach advantage and tagging Stiverne with dozens of jabs. It wasn’t until the final minute of the round when Wilder switched things up and decided to hammer away at Stiverne. Wilder knocked down Stiverne three times in the final minute of the first and only round. The champion relentlessly attacked Stiverne and when the third knockdown came, Stiverne was already too hurt to even get up on his feet.
Wilder was hyper-aggressive in his gameplan and literally left Barclays Center without a scratch. According to the official stats, Stiverne only threw four punches in that first round and none of those punches even landed on Wilder.
The fight was a rematch from their 2015 encounter, in which Wilder captured the WBC title from Stiverne. Wilder dominated the fight, but was unable to knock out Stiverne, the first and only time thus far that Wilder had to go the distance to win a boxing match.
But Stiverne wasn’t Wilder’s original opponent for November 4. Although Stiverne was the WBC mandatory challenger, Wilder was actually supposed to face Luis Ortiz, but Ortiz failed a VADA drug test a little more than a month before the fight. It would become the third straight fight Wilder had to face a replacement opponent due to the original opponent failing a drug test. In the buildup to the rematch against Stiverne, Wilder repeatedly expressed his frustrations with the sport and his opponents constantly failing drug tests, saying he was going to vent his frustration on Stiverne. Needless to say, he did that by knocking out Stiverne.
But Wilder’s night did not end with the knockout. In fact, after the fight, Wilder took an opportunity and make another statement: a declaration of war against unified WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Wilder called out Joshua after the fight, trying to get him to accept the much-anticipated super fight between what is largely agreed upon as the two best heavyweights in boxing today.
"I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now. I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? I've been waiting for a long time. I know I'm the champion. I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test? A king doesn't chase the peasants. A king takes kings. I want Joshua. If he doesn't give me the fight we have other plans. The world wants Joshua, the world wants Wilder, I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby. No more dodging, no more excuses. Make the date, don't wait,” Wilder said.
Should the fight against Joshua not become a reality, Wilder said there are a couple of options waiting for him just in case. On the undercard, Dominic Breazeale defeated Eric Molina in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator, potentially setting up a Wilder vs. Breazeale fight for the WBC title down the road.