by David P. Greisman
It was a hard loss for Bermane Stiverne, whose stint as heavyweight titleholder only lasted until the decision was announced at the end of his first defense. He lost to Deontay Wilder and then was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and diagnosed with a condition known as rhabdomyolysis.
He’s back in training now — not in a boxing camp but just getting back in shape, says Stiverne’s manager, Camille Estephan.
They want a rematch someday.
“We let Wilder have the first six months of the year,” Estephan said. “The last six months of the year we’re going to make some noise.”
The dehydration comes from mistakes Stiverne made in camp.
“He wanted to be at a certain weight. We made mistakes as a team,” Estephan said. “He was in a sauna room for a little too long and he was dehydrated badly. Thank god he’s OK. His health was in jeopardy. He was in a hospital for a couple of days getting rehydrated through an IV. It was serious. It wasn’t the Bermane that we know that was in the ring that night, unfortunately.”
That means changes in the way training and preparation are done.
“We’re revamping everything. We’re going back to our roots,” Estephan said. “We’re going back to what we did initially that gave us that success. It’s easier said than done, but when you become the heavyweight champ of the world, it’s a world we didn’t know. And honestly knowing now what we know, we would’ve done things very differently, but we had to learn the hard way. And it was the worst time to learn, giving up that title.”
Stiverne is 36 and had waited some time to get his shot at the world title last year. Now he needs to rebuild, and quickly.
“We got to beat the top guys,” Estephan said. “We’re going to get another opportunity. It’s just a matter of time. We want Wilder again.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at email@example.com