BROOKLYN: He wanted a body and he got it.
48 hours after threatening to commit homicide in front of 10,924 shocked fans at an electrified Barclays Center, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38KOs) point blank murdered Bermane Stiverne (25-2, 21KOs) at 2:59 of the 1st round.
How bad was it? This was boxing's equivalent of a Haitian earthquake in 2017 registering a 10.0 on the Richter scale, getting Stiverne and his entire crew subterranean courtesy of the “Bomb Squad.”
Stiverne got F'NKTFO.
Not since Mike Tyson's absolute mauling of Trevor Berbick in November 1986, has there been a king heavyweight arrival of sorts, something ordered with such dramatic affect, while being as equally emphatic.
As the round hovered around 2:00's long, Wilder pounded on his chest like the ‘King Kong' he couldn't face and got really tyrannical. Stiverne absorbed a piston-like jab, before being struck with a shot gun blast of a right hand to his fully guarded head– which literally blew him away and on his ass. It was stunning to behold.
Bewildered, Bermane rose, only to be haymakered back to the canvas, setting up a final sequence of bombs that collapsed and flattened a fat former WBC heavyweight champion like a rusty ironing board.
Had referee Arthur Mercantee Jr (who sat next to me just before working the fight and was advised he wouldn't be working long) not turned into Batman, it is very possible we would've all been witness to a legal crime scene in Gotham.
After a near two year layoff, if Stiverne was on any type of diet, he did donuts on the track to improve his speed.
It uh… It didn't work.
Wilder's malevolent massacre of Stiverne, in this opinion, is the KOTY for reasons visually symbolic and historic, for it violently paves the way to a megafight with WBA/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. What figuratively hits home about this captivating performance, was an unspoken but inferred Canelo-esque utterence from Wilder: “We DON'T fuck around in America.”
Promoter Lou DiBella, fiercely ebullient afterwards, looked into media cameras and got in the face of promoter Eddie Hearn with an edict of his own that went something like this: “Fuck Dillian Whyte. Give us Anthony Joshua yesterday– if not tomorrow.”
There's promoter speak that can produce smoke from expensive bullshit detectors, and then there's just real talk from a man adept at objectivity with friends in business. Or in this case, about a man he's watched become The Man, ready to beat the man who beat Da Man.
“Look, Joshua beat a Wladimir Klitschko that I believe Deontay destroys easier,” fired DiBella. “It would be great if Tyson (Fury) got back, so you could see what Deontay would do to him. He annihilates (Joseph) Parker, or any of these guys.”
About to descend upon a fall rainy night, the WBC heavyweight champion is in regal good spirits as he takes the podium to face the press. He's blanketed by a silver, black and white mink coat most women would die for, which somehow looks alive and breathing on him. Adorned in gold accessories, Wilder presents a sleek, stylishly ostentatious Mr. T in modern G fashion. We exchange smiles, as I couldn't help but drop how cold AF the winter coat is.
“Deontay, you are the most charismatic heavyweight champion we've had since the great Muhammad Ali — I think I can say that, and he really was champion of the world. He went everywhere to fight anyone. Is there a part of you that wants to go to the U.K. to face Joshua? Is that something you want to be a part of your legacy?” I asked the champion, nodding throughout and eager to answer.
“I'll go anywhere– anywhere. My title says, ‘heavyweight champion of the world'. He (Joshua) wants to stay in the U.K. because of what they got going on over there. But the Mecca, the money, will always be right here in America. I'll fight him anywhere. All I want them to do is, “Don't wait, make the date”, because Deontay Wilder will be there.
Shelly Finkel, veteran boxing manager of legends (including Mike Tyson, and now, Wilder) revealed reluctant language from Eddie Hearn in putting Joshua V Wilder together. Many will point to Joshua's enormous drawing power and rockstar status, evidenced by his ability to attract over 75,000 fans into U.K. arenas, as a massive chip that shifts the weight of the negotiating table in their favor.
“Not so fast,” says Finkel. Although the idea of Wilder invading the U.K. and leaving with all of those fans, is a most appealing option.
“You can see people on TV, but not necessarily more dollars. When you go to Vegas, if they (Las Vegas) want this fight, they can put up more money than anywhere,” Finkel continued.
“I've been around this game for a long time, and when a fighter wants to fight someone– they fight. Joshua has already said he wanted to fight Deontay Wilder next year after his mandatory. You saw what Wilder just did. If it means the right deal to go to the U.K., we'll fight him on the moon.”
You're on the war clock Eddie Hearn.