Golden Boy and Don King Promotions put on a good undercard as the fans at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, and watching over Showtime awaited the big heavyweight fight in the main event!
Former Olympic Bronze medalist Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 33-0 (32), of Tuscaloosa, AL, lived up to the hype though having to go 12 full rounds for the first time in his career winning by decision and capturing the WBC heavyweight crown but did it so easily that the now former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane “B-Ware“ Stiverne, 24-2-1 (21), of Haiti and now Las Vegas summed it up by saying “I was just flat!”
The name of the game is the jab and Wilder shoved it into Stiverne’s face all night and following with many right hands to the head. “I thought I would knock him out but he took a really good punch and I thought it’s going to be a long night,” said Wilder.
His trainer is the former Olympic Gold medalist and welterweight champion Mark Breland.
The judges Adailaine Byrd, 118-109, Jerry Roth 119-108 and Craig Metcalfe 120-107 had it lopsided for the new champion as did DHB at 118-110 giving Stiverne the fourth and last round. The referee was Tony Weeks who had little to do but in the second round ended up on the canvas with both fighters.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaimam went to the new champion first and then the former champion next. Don King may be out of the heavyweight picture faster than he got back into it eight months ago being the promoter of Stiverne.
“First I want to thank God, Al Haymon and Golden Boy. I want to be a busy champion fighting three or four times a year,” said Wilder. The WBA, WBO and IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles in April in New York with an opponent yet named but Philly’s Bryant “By By” Jennings looks to be in a position to fight either champion.
In a great fight Amir “Young Master” Imam, 16-0 (3), of Pompano Beach, FL, came off the canvas and scored four knockdowns in stopping Fidel “Atrisco Kid” Maldonando, Jr., 19-3-1 (16), of Albuquerque, NM, at 2:59 of the fifth round when referee Robert Byrd had seen enough. The winner took the WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title. It was an impressive win for Imam.
Making his fourth defense of his WBC super bantamweight title the two-division champion Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, 29-0-1 (17), of L.A. stopped Jesus Ruiz, 32-6-5 (21), of Sonora, Mexico, at 0:29 of the eighth round when referee Kenny Bayless put a stop to it. The judges had it 69-64 twice and 69-63 with DHB 68-65 for the champion. He had a slight cut outside of his right eye brow. Both fighters put on a display of body punches rarely seen. A right, left and right buckled the knees of Ruiz which brought about the end of the fight.
Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy, 12-0 (10), of the Ukraine, now living in L.A., was very impressive in stopping late sub but game Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior”, 13-9-1 (7), of Philly at the end of the ninth round in a light heavyweight 10. The ring physician and referee Jay Nady had seen enough.
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