Friday, March 31, 2023  |


Deontay Wilder: The ambulance better be ready for Bermane Stiverne

Fighters Network

Deontay Wilder seems to have a lot of pent up anger brewing inside him.

And who could blame him?

Over and over, Wilder has tried to attract fights with marquee opponents, only to see those bouts befallen by positive PED tests by his opponents.

First it was Alexander Povetkin, the Olympic gold medalist who surely would have presented a stern challenge. Then it was Luis Ortiz, the boogeyman of the heavyweight division, who caused another big bout to be scrapped.

Wilder (38-0, 37 knockouts) is left to defend his title against Bermane Stiverne on Saturday in Brooklyn, and also to defend his reputation.

The critics continue to belittle the WBC heavyweight titleholder’s opponents, even though Wilder has tried his damndest to secure the best.

So all Wilder can do now is knock out the man in front of him, Stiverne, the only fighter to last the distance with the crushing puncher. The Haiti native has run his mouth all fight week, and Wilder is undoubtedly motivated to shut him up.

Wilder topped Stiverne in January 2015 to lift the title, and going into the rematch, he wants to make a statement.

“The ambulance better be ready. The medical teams better be ready,” said Wilder, THE RING’s No. 2 heavyweight. “The referee better be ready. They better have that towel to be able to throw it in because every blow is going to mean something.

” … There’s nothing different that he can bring to the table. He brought everything he could bring the first time. He brought all his tricks – all his power. There’s nothing he’s going to be able to do this time. The only thing he’s going to be able to do is pick his spot on the ground where he’s going to lay at.”

A knockout of Stiverne, unfortunately, won’t do much to silence the critics. The former titleholder turned 39 this week, and he looked grossly out of shape at Friday’s weigh-in.

He also hasn’t fought in two years, and that last performance was a lackluster decision over Derric Rossy. The journeyman even dropped Stiverne, so it’s easy to see why this matchup isn’t exactly anticipated.

The only intrigue, if there’s any at all centers around Stiverne’s ability to last the distance.

“It’s been a long road for me. I’ve had my ups and my downs,” Wilder said. “The ups I’ve celebrated, but the downs have hurt the most. It’s all led me to here. All I ever wanted to do is prove to the world that I am the best. I am the baddest. I hit the hardest. I am the most feared. My record speaks for itself.

“This will be an electrifying fight. That belt isn’t going anywhere. I will unify the division. I will be the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”