By Keith Idec
Bermane Stiverne is the only opponent Deontay Wilder hasn’t knocked out since he turned pro nine years ago.
That won’t change Saturday night, according to Stiverne, when they fight again at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder won their first fight convincingly, but Stiverne showed a good chin by taking Wilder’s best shots and lasting all 12 rounds.
“Nobody can knock me out – nobody,” Stiverne said during a recent conference call. “It won’t happen. It never happened. It even says on my record nobody ever knocked me out – ever. And I will not have it. And November 4th, whether it’s you or anybody else – and right now, I don’t even feel like I wanna talk to anybody. I want y’all to come and talk to me after the fight. That’s what I want. Any questions y’all got, y’all can come and ask me after the fight. Because I bet you the questions you have for me won’t be the same questions you have right now. I guarantee you that.”
Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) grew increasingly agitated while answering questions about his lopsided loss to Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), which cost Stiverne the WBC heavyweight title in January 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Haitian-born, Las Vegas-based contender cannot wait for his opportunity Saturday night to avenge his loss to the talkative Wilder, who has defended the WBC title five times since he beat Stiverne.
In his only action since Wilder dethroned him, the 39-year-old Stiverne overcame a first-round knockdown to defeat Derric Rossy (31-13, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder nearly two years ago in Las Vegas.
“Everybody can talk whatever they wanna talk,” Stiverne said. “You know what I’m saying? It don’t even matter. Me talking right now, him talking right now, it don’t even matter. It doesn’t matter. Words don’t matter. What matters is what happens November 4th. That’s what matters. He can say he can knock me out, I can say I’m gonna knock him out. It don’t matter. It does not matter. It matters what happens November 4th. That’s what matters.”
The Wilder-Stiverne rematch will headline Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Before Wilder and Stiverne go at it again, former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, and Adrian Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs), of Cicero, Illinois, will meet in a 10-round welterweight fight. The telecast is set to start with a 12-round fight for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title between Kazakhstan’s Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KOs) and Japan’s Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.