Will WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne be able to counter the wide shots of Wilder?
Does Wilder have a stamina issue?
Is Stiverne too slow to catch Wilder?
Does previous competition mean that much when two huge men with power duke it out?
Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) will be defending the crown he captured when he eliminated Chris Arreola last year.
Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) pummeled Jason Gavern five months ago.
Both fighters looked tense at Friday’s press conference. The pre-fight trash dog has grown louder with each passing day. Some thought the fight might start a day early.
“To me, I think he’s a fraud,” said Stiverne of his opponent. “I don’t think he deserves to be fighting for the title and that’s why I’m not with it. But what is worse is that he is not even ready to fight at this level. What will be even worse is that I’m the best and I train myself like I was fighting the best fighter out there.
“You are all in for a treat,” Wilder responded. “I’ve never been so ready to whoop a man. There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of stuff on social media. But, through all that, it’s been real. I don’t play games. We risk our lives every time in that ring. I am not scared to walk with my head held high because I am ready for any test. This is the most exciting heavyweight bout in years.”
The height difference is apparent. Stiverne is five inches shorter than the six-foot-seven- inch Wilder. He’s built like a NFL linebacker. But Stiverne will look to use his weight advantage (20 pounds) to maul Wilder.
The fight could end pretty quickly. Whoever connects with a hard blow first, and survives, will have an edge. That’s boxing. One can punch can answer everything.
Both fighters have promised a knockout.
“A short, painful night,” predicted Stiverne a few weeks ago at a media press conference. “Instead of telling you about it here, I will show you. Don’t blink!”
"I don't get paid for overtime, so why go all the way? “countered Wilder, who’s trying to become the first American to hold a portion of the heavyweight crown since Shannon Briggs. “I finish things early in the ring.”