HOPE IS KINDLED for an American presence in the international heavyweight boxing arena, something which hasn't been since 2006. Subscribe to BoxNation to watch Bermane Stiverne defend his WBC Heavyweight World title against the knockout-sensation that has swept the sport in recent years, Deontay Wilder.

Deontay Wilder

WBC Heavyweight Championship facts

  • When Stiverne knocked out Chris Arreola on May 10, 2014, he became the first Haitian-born prize-fighter and 22nd boxer overall to capture the WBC Heavyweight World Championship.
  • Wilder, if triumphant, would become the first undefeated American heavyweight to capture a world title since Riddick Bowe won the WBC, WBA and IBF titles in 1992.
  • Wilder also would become the 13th U.S.-born boxer to win the WBC title and the first since August 2006.
  • Hasim Rahman was the last American to hold the WBC belt.  The last American to hold any version of the heavyweight title was Shannon Briggs, who captured the WBO title in November 2006 and lost in his first defence.
  • At six-foot-seven, Wilder would join Vitali Klitschko as the tallest WBC Heavyweight World Champion; the tallest heavyweight world champion ever was seven-foot-tall Nikolai Valuev, a former two-time WBA belt-holder who is also the heaviest (323 pounds) world champion in history.

 Deontay Wilder

  • The initial nine WBC heavyweight champions were from the United States, beginning with Sonny Liston, who in July 1963 became the first WBC champion.  Following Liston were Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Tim Witherspoon and Pinklon Thomas.
  • On Nov. 22, 1986, 20-year-old Mike Tyson of the U.S. became the youngest ever to capture the heavyweight title when he knocked out Trevor Berbick, who had defeated Thomas. 
  • Other WBC heavyweight champions from the U.S. include James "Buster" Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Bowe, Oliver McCall and Rahman.
  • The only Jamaican-born boxer to become the WBC champion was Berbick, who was also the first heavyweight outside of the U.S. to capture the WBC crown.
  • There have been two WBC heavyweight champions from England - Frank Bruno and the only ever three-time champ Lennox Lewis.
  • Lennox Lewis made 14 successful defences in his stints as champ.
  • There was one fighter from Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko, who held the WBC belt on two occasions, one fighter from Russia, Oleg Maskaev and one from Nigeria, Samuel Peter.
  • Ali, Foreman, Tyson, Klitschko and Rahman were all two-time WBC heavyweight champs.
  • Ali (two tenures) made a total of 19 successful title defences.
  • Holmes, with 16, had more successful title defences than any one-reign champ; Klitschko had a total of 10, Ali had nine WBC world title defences two separate times; Tyson, Lewis and Klitschko retained the title nine times once.

 Deontay Wilder

  • Interestingly, the feared Liston had zero defences of the WBC heavyweight title, the same number as Spinks, Norton, Witherspoon, Berbick, Douglas, Bowe, Bruno and Peter. 
  • Two boxers were stripped of the WBC title - Spinks (March 1978 for failing to defend against mandatory challenger Ken Norton) and Bowe (December 1992 for not making a mandatory defence against Lewis).
  • The WBC title was vacated twice (Holmes in December 1982) and Tyson (in September 1996).
  • Two boxers retired as WBC Heavyweight Champions, Lewis in February 2004 and Klitschko twice, in November 2005 and December 2013.
  • With the exception of Liston, all the U.S.-born WBC Heavyweight Champions were promoted at one time by Don King.
  • Stiverne-Wilder will be the 135th WBC Heavyweight World Title fight; 95 of them have taken place in the U.S., including 40 in Nevada (WBC heavyweight title fights have emanated from 20 different countries).
  • Overall, this will be the 300th WBC title fight in Nevada.