Stiverne Vs Wilder Results: Deontay Outpaces Bermane For Decision Win

Deontay Wilder defeated Bermane Stiverne Saturday on Showtime by decision; what was surprising about that was not that Wilder won, but that anyone won “by decision,” given the power both men brought to bear.

Wilder is a physically talented heavyweight, one who had questions about whether he could take a shot or deal with anyone who could take his punches for more than a few rounds. Nobody had gone more than four rounds with Wilder until Saturday. Stiverne, who had 21 knockouts in his 24 wins coming into this fight, figured to test Wilder’s ability to take a shot. Despite not throwing enough punches, Stiverne did indeed test Wilder’s chin, and the chin came out on top.

That’s not to say we should get carried away, after this, about Wilder’s greatness or anything. He didn’t throw enough punches himself, getting winded pretty early, finding a second wind and then losing it again. Both men struggled with pace, in fact, with Stiverne coming in a little pudgy around the middle and perhaps inhibited by that.

What we know after this is that Wilder can go 12 rounds with someone at all, and that he can stand up to a big puncher. If you were looking for a savior of the heavyweight division from this, Saturday didn’t do the trick. Sure, he might’ve technically deserved a knockdown at the end of the 2nd against an opponent who had rarely been hurt. Sure, he won at least eight rounds against a proven heavyweight contender. That’s worth a good deal.

What’s it’s also not worth is calling him heavyweight champion. Wilder took an alphabet belt from Stiverne Saturday, and he’ll probably milk it for all it’s worth. Calling Wilder some kind of American “heavyweight champion” after Saturday is a fucking joke; we all know, every single one of us who follows boxing at all, that Wladimir Klitschko is the true heavyweight king. “Champion” is a word that, by the very first definition of the word at, means “a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.” There’s no way you can think of Klitschko as the heavyweight champion and still somehow use the same word to describe Wilder.

So admire Wilder for beating a fellow worthy contender. Admire him for the way in which he beat him, even. Just don’t give him respect he doesn’t deserve for how he did it, or what it means. And while this makes him as worthy as anyone outside of maybe Tyson Fury for a shot against Klitschko, don’t call him champion until he beats the man who actually is.

(Photo: Wilder, left, Stiverne, right; Esther Lin, Showtime)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.