Bermane Stiverne-Deontay Wilder set to fight on January 17
WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne will make his first defence against unbeaten Deontay Wilder on January 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
The first Haitian-born heavyweight champion Stiverne won the belt that Vitali Klitschko vacated upon his retirement in December 2013, when he stopped Chris Arreola in six rounds in May. He has now racked up 21 knockouts with only one defeat in his 26-fight career.
However, Wilder has recorded 32 consecutive knockouts but this is a big step up in opposition. The 6’7” American became the mandatory challenger when he knocked out Malik Scott in the first round in March.
Stiverne said: “Don’t blink on January 17. I am the heavyweight champion of the world and nobody is going to beat me. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to making a statement. Talk is cheap. I do my talking in the ring.
“I’m all business. The only time he’s going to get my attention is the night of the fight. I promise you, he will get more than he bargained for and more than he’s expecting."
Wilder said: “I’m expecting a short night because we have bad blood. I really want to hurt this guy, and I haven’t felt this way in a long time.
“I want to show him this is no joke, this is real. This is business.This is the hurt game and my power is real. I told him that I’ll whoop his ass and I’m going to keep my promise."
The card will also feature undefeated WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) defending his belt against a challenger to be announced.