By Manuel Perez: Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) is still bothered by his earlier loss to Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) from 2 years ago in losing a 12 round unanimous decision in January 2015.
(Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)
Stiverne, 39, attributes the loss to his wrong-headed decision to drop weight in the final weeks of the fight. With 2 weeks to go before his first fight with Wilder, Stiverne lost a bunch of weight to get down from 249 to 233. He then realized he was too light, and he packed on a bunch of weight. Never the less, Stiverne was dehydrated by the time he entered the ring with Wilder.
The results saw Stiverne looking weak and listless in losing a one-sided. 12 round decision to the Bronze Bomber. This Saturday night, Stiverne will have a chance to avenge his loss when he faces Wilder in a rematch at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing in the U.S.
Here’s what Stiverne had to say about what went wrong against Wilder:
“This is a fight that every day is running through my mind and it bothers me. When I was walking in there, it was to win. When I was in there, I kind of felt distracted. I don’t think I lost the fight because he’s better than me; I lost the fight because of health problems.”
It’s a bad look for Stiverne for him to be harping about his loss to Wilder, making excuses and not admitting that he lost to the better fighter on the night. It would play out a lot better with boxing fans if Stiverne would simply take the high road by giving the 6’7” Wilder the credit that he deserves for winning the fight. Making up excuses for losing or failing at anything is never a good thing.
If Stiverne wants to make excuses, he should do it the way a politician does by saying thing like “mistakes were made”, and leave it at that. You never hear a politician admitting that they flubbed up. They end to throw out the old “mistakes were made” line, and they then move on and focus on positive stuff. They know that their voters don’t want to hear them making excuses.
“This thing about my weight, it finally caught up to me,” said Stiverne. ”[I] was 233 a week before the fight, I said it was a little too low so I went up to 245 and then decided to cut it back to like under 240. So I was playing with my weight. You know, I shouldn’t have done that,” said Stiverne.
The way that Stiverne looked in his previous fights, he would have had just as many problems with Wilder as he did. Wilder is a much taller and longer-armed fighter than the 6’2” Stiverne. I think that’s the biggest problem that Stiverne has. He lacked the size when he fought Wilder before, and he’s going to obviously have the same problem on Saturday night. Instead of Stiverne crying over spilled milk, he should be thinking about his game plan to figure out how he can get close enough to Wilder to land his big power shots.
“That caused me to be severely dehydrated and it cost me the title,” said Stiverne. ”I felt like every time I threw punches they were coming out slow, just like having a fully loaded gun and can’t pull the trigger. Time goes by, time goes by, and I’m losing the round, losing the round, losing the rounds. I saw everything but just couldn’t do what I was supposed to do,” said Stiverne.
Stiverne’s punches didn’t look slow to Boxing News Results. They just looked like they were hitting a lot of air due to Wilder standing on the outside all night long. Wilder used his long jab and movement to keep Stiverne from getting close enough to land his big power shots with any degree of consistency. That was the real problem that Stiverne had in the fight. He couldn’t get close enough to land more than one of two punches at a time.
“He hit me a couple times, buzzed me maybe once,” said Stiverne. ”I was the only one he wasn’t able to knock out, on my worst day, and that should tell you something,. The matter between him and I is very personal, to me at least. Took my title away from me, it’s something I need back. But it’s so much deeper than that. I’m going to make him feel my pain,” said Stiverne.
Stiverne is going to need to be careful coming forward this time against Wilder, because he’s healthy for this fight. Wilder had a broken right hand in the previous fight with Stiverne, which kept him from being able to get full power on his punches. Wilder will be able to sit down on his shots on Saturday with full power, and it could be tough for Stiverne to take that kind of power if he gets hit on the button too many times. As such, Stiverne needs to be tactical against Wilder, and focus on his boxing skills for him to win the fight.