To be sure, he hears you. His team hears you.
Bermane Stiverne knows that many of you think he’s shot, has a coat of rust on him that a chisel couldn’t get to….that he’s an easy mark for Deontay Wilder when they glove up in a rematch of their January 2015 scrap.
Stiverne's trainer, Las Vegas resident Don House, is well aware of the negative chatter that is out and about.
“They’ve been saying it for years,” House told me, soon after it became official that Luis Ortiz was out, after getting flagged again for using a PED. “I know this, Bermane will beat Wilder! Six rounds or less.”
Bold talk from the tutor, especially since the 25-2-1 Haitian athlete last fought two years ago, when he was neck and neck with Derric Rossy, who just retired.
So, he’s not rusty…or shot?
“No rust,” House declared. “He’s used to taking a long time off. He’s been in the gym, with me, the last 8 months, so I know what he’s been up to. Now, it’s personal. He’s putting in more work than ever,” House said of the 38 year old who is taking some flak for being the WBC No. 1 guy despite not being active. (He had a fight set with Alex Povetkin in December 2016 which came apart because, you guessed it, Povetkin tested positive.)
House gets props for admitting his kid lacked urgency in his last fight because he found it hard to get up for a non title match against the rugged journeyman Rossy, on 11-14-2015. “No motivation, no money. We were really motivated for the Russian.”
Stiverne hasn’t been doing much sparring, as House says at his age, he already knows how to fight. “Conditioning is the key to a veteran fighter. You can over spar too much.”
And one might think Stiverne would want to show the world he’s better than the guy who got dominated by Wilder the first time around…
“Yes. And with my guy not on top of his game Wilder couldn’t stop him.”
Bold talk from the coach, it makes me think, maybe, just maybe this scrap, to unfold at Barclays Center Nov. 4, and to screen on Showtime, would be better than those disappointed by the loss of Ortiz are predicting.
“Only thing I can say is, to the fans, save your comments til after the fight,” House said in closing. “Stiverne will be two time WBC world champion!”
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