Lost in all of the UFC 217 awesomeness was a Showtime Boxing main event between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) and Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs). Wilder was scheduled to fight Luis Ortiz at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, only for Ortiz to fail his drug test, hence Stiverne was chosen as the short-notice replacement. This was a rematch absolutely no sensible boxing fan wanted, but it’s one that was made out of necessity.
The storyline for Wilder-Stiverne II was that Stiverne became the first man to go the distance against the heavy-handed Wilder, but he lost a wide unanimous decision and saw his WBC belt go to Deontay. While the first fight went the full twelve rounds, Saturday night’s rematch didn’t even last a round.
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In the post-fight interview, Wilder called for a unification bout with IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs).
“The world wants Joshua,” Wilder said. “I want Joshua. Come and see me, baby! No more hiding, no more ducking, no more dodging, let’s make the fight happen! Let’s see who’s the best, I know I’m the best! Are you up for the test?”
This is THE heavyweight fight to make in boxing, and hopefully we see it happen in 2018. Someone is surely getting knocked out.