In a battle for former heavyweight champions, Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) and Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) will battle it out on December 17 for the interim WBC World heavyweight title at the Ekaterinburg Expo in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The winner of the Povetkin-Stiverne fight not only will be the new interim WBC heavyweight champion, they will also become the next opponent for World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
Stiverne, 38, lost to Wilder in 2015 in losing a 12 round unanimous decision in the process of losing his WBC title. Povetkin, 37, was supposed to have fought Wilder in 2016, but unfortunately, Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance. The WBC is going to allow Povetkin the option of still fighting Wilder, as long as he beats Stiverne to earn the shot. I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not. We’re going to find out on December 17. It should be thrilling to see who comes out on top in this fight.
Stiverne, who was born in Haiti and now lives in the United States, will be traveling to Russia to fight Povetkin in front of his own fans. It won’t be easy for Stiverne to get the win. Povetkin fights well in front of own Russian fans, and if the fight anywhere close, it might be tough for Stiverne to get the decision. He’s going to need to fight at a very high level for him to take the judges out of the equation. It would be in Stiverne’s best interest to try and get a knockout in this fight.
One thing that Stiverne had going for him is his chin. He’s got a good a good chin, and can take punishment. With the kind of power and jab that Stiverne has going for him, he could last long enough to nail Povetkin with something big. Wilder couldn’t knock Stiverne out despite hitting him with tremendous shots for 12 rounds.
Chris Arreola couldn’t get the job done either in his two fights against him. Stiverne gave Arreola two beatings in defeating him twice. However, Stiverne was knocked out nine years ago by Demetrice King, who stopped him in the 4th round in 2007. This was a questionable stoppage. King hurt Stiverne and then flurried on him while he covered up. The referee stopped the match despite Stiverne still standing and trying to fight back. One would hope that we don’t see anything weird like that on Saturday night.