Five Years ago Friday Deontay Wilder became World Champ
Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, is preparing for his rematch February 22nd with former Undisputed Champion, Tyson Fury. However, January 17th will always hold special meaning for the “Bronze Bomber,” as on that night he became a world champ for the first time.
The site was Las Vegas, Nevada as Wilder took on WBC belt holder and Hatian born-Canadian Bermane Stiverne. It was Stiverne’s first title defense after he won the vacant belt the previous year. And it, came against, at that time the little known big punching 32-0 fighter from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
But, by the time it was all said and done, Wilder not only showed boxing skill to become the winner but ultimate toughness, too.
From the outset Wilder used his five inch reach advantage with a jab and his straight right and he would frequently put combinations together, while out-landing Stiverne 227 – 110 over the 12-round fight.
Wilder was also the clearly the much busier fighter throwing 621 punches to just 327 for the champ over 12 frames.
However, more importantly, it was later revealed that Wilder had broken his trademark right hand earlier in the fight and yet, continued to battle on and even land that right hand punch frequently as the rounds went by. It was the second time in Wilder’s career at that point that he had fractured his right hand. And, he’s even broken it a third time in a subsequent title defense, too.
Back to five years ago, by the tenth round it was obvious that Wilder was way ahead and Stiverne simply had no answers to get close enough for land the big enough punches to change the outcome. Wilder was given a lopsided unanimous decision win, including Canadian judge Craig Metcalfe scoring every round of the fight for him.
In victory, Wilder became the first American fighter since Shannon Briggs in 2006 to hold a portion of the World Heavyweight Championship. He also did so on Muhammad Ali’s 73rd birthday.
And, he has now defended that belt successfully 10 times including the draw with Fury in December 2018. Stiverne and Wilder also rematched in November of 2017 in Brooklyn, NY and this fight was a demolition first round knockout.
That’s where Wilder initially scored one knock down with a big right hand and then, immediately a barrage of punches left Stiverne semi-conscious and crumbled on the bottom rope, as the fight was stopped.
Wilder is also an elite company now, with recent Fighters Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and legendary Fighters like Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Ali and even Joe Louis, to hold at least a portion of the title and defend it least 10 times in a row successfully.
And, it all began in the desert in January of 2015.