Deontay Wilder out-boxed and outpointed Bermane Stiverne to lift the WBC heavyweight world title Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although the fight did not produce the expected knockout or fireworks, there was still plenty of action throughout the 12 rounds to satisfy the mobs, as well as enough of the sweet science to please the boxing purists.
The judges scored the fight 118-109, 119-108, and 120-107.
Stiverne displayed an exceptional chin, surviving numerous onslaughts from Wilder that would have taken down most heavyweights. He pressured Wilder well all night, working to close the distance, but in the end Stiverne was unable to effectively cut off the ring and he had no answer for the new champ’s telephone pole jab.
Wilder used his height, reach, and footwork to dominate over the resolute Haitian. He demonstrated never-before-seen boxing skills, excellent distance control, and ring intelligence. But the game changer for the Bronze Bomber was the use of his jab to keep Stiverne safely at bay.
With the win, Wilder’s prefect record improves to 33-0, 32 KOs. However, in exchange for his world title, Wilder had to trade in his incredible 32-knockout streak.
Stiverne entered the ring on Saturday defending his WBC world heavyweight title for the first time since earning it by stopping Chris Arreola in the sixth-round of their May 2014 rematch. Stiverne had previously beaten Arreola with a 12-round decision in 2013.
However, it was a short-lived reign for Stiverne thanks to The Bronze Bomber’s patience and boxing skills.
The fight took on its pattern early on in round one, with Wilder working the perimeter behind an active jab and Stiverne stalking behind a high, tight guard. Stiverne held back for the first half of the round before opening up, but nothing significant was scored by either fighter.
The second round started with more of the same as before. Wilder tested Stiverne’s chin with a hard right hand, but Stiverne took it and kept moving forward. Wilder went back to jabbing and moving.
At the end of the second round, Wilder was unloading on Stiverne and referee Tony Weeks attempted to stop the action, taking himself and both of the fighters to the mat. Although a knockdown was waved off, Stiverne appeared hurt in between rounds.
Download video : Stiverne vs. Wilder full fight.mp4