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Wilder punches pack plenty of pain

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-06 07:42

BROOKLYN, New York - When WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder finally took off the gold mask he wore into the ring on Saturday night, he revealed a fierce scowl.

That look never disappeared as he quickly and methodically demolished the only man who had ever gone the distance with him.

Wilder retained his title by sending Bermane Stiverne crashing to the canvas three times before referee Arthur Mercante called a halt to the slaughter with one second left in the opening round.

"So much frustration, it just seemed like my career, it's been crazy ... so many guys using PEDs," Wilder said.

"I just want to prove that I am the best. I know I am the best, but I wanna prove I am the best."

There wasn't much question about that as the champ rarely missed a punch in improving to 39-0 with his 38th KO.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Wilder jabbed through much of the first two minutes while Stiverne, the WBC's mandatory challenger, moved slowly and cautiously around the ring.

Suddenly, Wilder shot a huge straight right that drove Stiverne (25-3-1) three feet backwards before he hit the deck.

After Stiverne shakily regained his feet, Wilder unleashed a vicious flurry, capped by two rights to the head that dropped the 38-year-old challenger for the second time.

At that point, the champion climbed atop the ropes in a neutral corner, shouting at Stiverne's trainers to throw in the towel.

When they didn't, another right and then a mammoth left hook sent Stiverne sprawling for the final time.

"One champion, one face, one name - and he goes by Deontay Wilder," said the 32-year-old, who fights out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Wilder won the belt from Stiverne in 2015 in a 12-round decision. He repeatedly insisted Stiverne would go down and out early in this one.

Wilder now can set his sights on something he has been promising throughout 2017 - unifying the heavyweight titles.

He wants Britain's Anthony Joshua, the WBA/IBF champ, sometime next year, along with WBO titleholder Joe Parker of New Zealand.

Wilder issued challenges to both after disposing of Stiverne.

"I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now," he said. "I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge?

"I know I'm the champion, I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test?

"A king don't chase the peasants. A king takes kings. I want Joshua. If he don't give me the fight, we have other plans. The world wants Joshua, the world wants Wilder. I want Joshua. Joshua, come and see me, baby. No more dodging, no more excuses. Make the date, don't wait."

This was Wilder's sixth defense, and his most ferocious.

Stiverne, who according to official CompuBox statistics did not land a single punch, was a substitute for unbeaten Cuban Jose Ortiz (27-0), who failed a drug test.

Associated Press

(China Daily 11/06/2017 page24)

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