Stiverne vs Wilder

Bermane Stiverne Deontay Wilder

Stiverne Wilder

MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

17 January 2015, 23:59:00

17

Jan

The WBC World Heavyweight Championship

Post-fight analysis

Wilder wins to breathe new life into American heavyweight scene

Deontay Wilder becomes America's first heavyweight champion since 2006 as he wore down a granite-chinned Bermane Stiverne to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship.

Through a 33rd knockout from 33 fights, Wilder answered his critics by demonstrating his punch resistance en route to a wide unanimous decision.

Poignantly, his being crowned world heavyweight champion comes on the weekend that Muhammad Ali celebrates his 73rd birthday after being released from hospital following illness.

It was an absorbing fight from first bell to last, with the crowd on the edge of their seats as Wilder looped in his trademark hooks, while questions lingered over what would happen if and when Stiverne landed clean.

As the fight progressed, Wilder was doing enough to secure a wide advantage on the scorecards, throwing and landing more punches and occasionally rattling in some huge combinations which Stiverne somehow endured.

In the later rounds, and knowing he held a wide advantage, Wilder took fewer risks as he eased his way home behind his jab to herald a new era for American heavyweight boxing.

The scorecards came back 118-109, 119-108, 120-107 to underline the Alabama fighter's comeplete dominance.

Pre-fight analysis

Knockout machine Wilder hunts WBC World Heavyweight title against Stiverne

One of heavyweight boxing's most exciting prospects Deontay Wilder looks to win his first world title when he faces Haitian-born American Bermane Stiverne.

Deontay Wilder Right

Bronze Bomber Wilder has amassed a quite remarkable 32 wins - all by way of knockout - and no losses, making him one of the most feared fighters in the game right now. His trademark looping overhand right has accounted for a number of well-known heavyweights, but questions remain over his punch resistance, and 24-1 Stiverne represents a step up in class of opposition for the 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner.

Stiverne, himself, is a tough operator, and has only been stopped once in his 25-fight career, seven years ago. The Vegas-based fighter proved his grit by twice overcoming heavyweight hardman Chris Arreola in a pair of bruising encounters, winning the WBC World Heavyweight title in the latter of those. Now he's looking for a first defence against one of the division's biggest punchers.

Amir Imam Fidel Maldonado Junior

Imam Maldonado Junior

17 January 2015, 23:59:00

The vacant WBC Continental Americas Light-Welterweight Championship

Prospects Amir Imam and Fidel Maldonado Jr clash

Unbeaten knockout artist Amir Imam will face Albuquerque southpaw Fidel Maldonado Jr in a fight between two young prospects.

Imam, aka 'Young Master', has proven he stays cool against southpaws, beating all three he has faced by stoppage. Yet despite being one year Imam's junior at 23-years-old, Maldonado Jr has more experience under his belt, which could give him the edge. What's more, Maldonado has also proven his own knack-for-knockouts at 19(16)-2.

But what Imam lacks in experience he makes up for with an unbeaten record of 15(13)-0, a higher knockout rate and a 3in height advantage over 'The Atrisco Kid'.

Whatever happens, both fighters have a lot to prove. Imam won't give away his zero without a fight and Maldonado has made an effective comeback since his 2012 losses, winning four out of seven within the distance. This will be a real war.

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