On a night where WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was originally slated to make the most difficult title defense of his current reign against Luis Ortiz, he found himself now making a mandatory defense in a rematch against opponent Bermane Stiverne. Deontay Wilder entered the fight 38-0 with 37 knockouts, while Stiverne came into the ring with a record of 25-2-1, fighting for only the first time since November 2015. There was not much demand for this fight initially, which is why Wilder offered Stiverne a step-aside fee in order to face the dangerous Luis Ortiz. When that fight was called off, Wilder and Showtime were faced with the tough dilemma of finding an opponent on late notice in Stiverne who was already slated to be on the undercard. However, whatever buzz the fight lacked initially, it certainly gained some steam over the past week through the animosity-filled press conference and weigh-in.
Wilder came out fast looking to establish his jab early from the onslaught, which is something that has been missing in his last few bouts. Stiverne made the early stages of round 1 fairly easy for Wilder as all he did was feint without throwing any punches. Wilder was able to knock Stiverne down with his dangerous right hand with 45 seconds left in the opening round. He followed that up immediately by knocking Stiverne down again with another right hand set up by a left hook. Stiverne was able to beat the count and Wilder came in for the kill with barely 6 seconds left in the round. He landed a flurry of punches capped off by a left hook that sent Stiverne reeling to the canvas as the referee struggled to pull the wailing Wilder away from his opponent.
The devastating knockout victory capped off Wilder’s 6th defense of the WBC title and left the door open for much speculation about what is next to come for the champion from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. When asked during the post-fight interview about what he wanted next, Wilder wasted no time in letting unified WBA & IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of the UK know that he wanted to fight him next. Wilder even went out of his way to disrespect Anthony Joshua by stating “he (Joshua) squats when he pisses”, in an effort to cajole the UK-based champion into a fight with him sooner than what the boxing world is currently expecting based on recent comments from Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports.
In the co-main event of the evening, “Showtime” Shawn Porter won a unanimous decision against an always game Adrian Granados. The bout was a WBC title eliminator to face champion Keith Thurman. With the victory, Porter keeps himself in position for the rematch that he has clamored for since dropping a decision to Thurman in 2016. Thurman has been on the sideline recovering from surgery since his victory over Danny Garcia to gain the WBC title earlier this year. Any possibilities of that rematch will more than likely have to wait until summer or fall of 2018 for Porter.