Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder retained his WBC title in his sixth defense with a dominant first-round knockout of mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday night on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING. Photos by Ryan Hafey, Tom Casino, Amanda Westcott, Ed Diller.
Wilder (39-0, 38 KO's) knocked Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) to the ground three times before referee Arthur Mercante halted the bout at 2:59 of the opening round. After Stiverne took Wilder the distance in their January 2015 title bout, Wilder has now knocked out every single opponent that he has faced in his career.
"So much frustration, it just seemed like my career, it's been crazy. So many guys using PED's", said Wilder, the only American heavyweight world champion. "I just want to prove that I am the best. I know I am the best but I want to prove I am the best."
Wilder first knocked Stiverne to the ground with a devastating one-two combination that caught the Haitian challenger on the nose. Seconds after Stiverne got back to his feet, Wilder landed another clean combination with a big left and an overhand right that sent a stunned Stiverne back to the canvas. The final blow came in the waning moments of the opening round as Wilder landed four clean punches to the face of a wobbly Stiverne.
"You have to give props to Stiverne for getting in the ring," said Wilder. "It takes a lot of courage and it takes a lot of pride to step in the ring with someone like me. We do what we have to do in the ring and at least he stepped up. He was a clean fighter."
After the brutal knockout, an emotional Wilder was asked by SHOWTIME Sports® reporter Jim Gray about a possible fight with unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
"I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now," said Wilder. "I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? I've been waiting for a long time. I know I'm the champion. I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test?
"A king doesn't chase the peasants. A king takes kings. I want Joshua. If he doesn'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."