By Miguel Rivera
Nobody was more impressed last Saturday night, than World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman.
He was ringside at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, watching WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) make a statement with a first round destruction of Bermane Stiverne in their mandatory rematch.
Stiverne, who previously went the twelve round distance with Wilder, was dropped three times before the contest was waved off.
Sulaiman was blown away by the performance and began to have flashbacks of heavyweight legends like Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
"What a statement by our proud WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder! While a few choose to criticize and question Stiverne, I praise Wilder – athletic, strong and fast. I have not seen a heavyweight throw the jab with such sharpness and precision since Larry Holmes," Sulaiman said.
"Stiverne was timing the jab and was moving his head very well waiting for the right moment to counter, then came the bomb, a right hand which connected right on the chin through Stiverne's gloves, and down he went. Wilder stood on top of him, screaming 'Get up,' which made me remember Muhammad Ali, but Wilder screamed with such fury and anxiety, it was no show – it was real.
Stiverne got up and was dropped again and again. A first-round knockout, just like the good old times of Mike Tyson. So, this past Saturday night I saw three elements from legendary Hall of Famers Ali, Holmes, and Tyson – all in one – and the heavyweight division is back."
Sulaiman says his organization is fully back Wilder in his quest to secure a unification with superstar Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), who holds the WBA, IBF, IBO world titles.
"Everything is set for Wilder vs. Joshua. Wilder told me specifically that he wants Joshua next, and he asked the WBC to do whatever it takes to support the making of this fight. Now it is up to the promoters, managers, and TV corporations to make it happen. Both fighters want it, the world wants it, and boxing needs it," Sulaiman said.