Deontay Wilder lands a right cross on Bermane Stiverne on Saturday in Las Vegas/Photo by Associated Press
Bermane Stiverne was out-worked, out-boxed and out-punched Saturday night while losing his heavyweight world title to Deontay Wilder at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Now we’re hearing that Stiverne wasn’t himself because of severe dehydration. He apparently found that out when, instead of attending the post-fight news conference, he went to a local hospital.
“Unfortunately, I was not able to perform in the fight like I wanted to due to severe dehydration and muscle damage,” Stiverne said. “I did not know it was that serious until they told me. I could have died from it. I am happy to just be myself, walk and talk again. Thank God for this, that’s really what matters to me to be healthy right now.”
Keep in mind that Stiverne is a heavyweight, so he doesn’t have to make weight. That makes one wonder how he became dehydrated in the first place. Secondly, as someone who has been dehydrated before, I can honestly say that Stiverne did not look like he was in that condition during the fight.
Did he appear tired in the second half of the fight? Of course, he did, but fighters usually do become tired in the second half of the fight. Wilder was, too. Otherwise, Stiverne was fighting hard. Also, a fighter typically becomes more fatigued when he’s losing handily, and swinging and missing.
The point being, perhaps Stiverne became dehydrated during the fight. That is entirely possible. But I’m having a difficult time believing he was that way when the bout started. He did not lose this fight because of it, he lost it because he was thoroughly thrashed.
It just seems like this is an excuse because he lost by a very wide margin on the scorecards and he wants a rematch. Not convinced? Listen to what his promoter – Don King – said at a news conference Monday in Las Vegas.
“We called this press conference because the Bermane we saw on Saturday night was not the Bermane we all know,” King said. “Deontay Wilder did a very good job; this is not a press conference for excuses, it is for fact. The doctors at the hospital … said that he had a severe case of dehydration. His muscles were not working and they thought he had blood in his urine, so they took some tests and held him in the hospital until this morning.
“We want to applaud Deontay Wilder for doing his job, but the man before him was handicapped and unable to do his job. But that should not take anything away from his victory. Deontay performed and did a great job. It is unfortunate, but Bermane will have to do it another day. Knowing the champion we have in Deontay, (who) has so eloquently stated that he will take on anybody, I am certain without any equivocation he would grant a rematch with the real Bermane than the man who was handicapped in the ring, not taking away the victory he had.”
I’d say King and Stiverne are doing exactly what King is saying he’s not doing. Seriously, to anyone who watched this fight, did Stiverne look like he was severely dehydrated from the get-go? If so, why was he running his mouth so much? It seems to be that’s the last thing a fighter would do if he felt so poorly.
Wilder won this fight by scores of 118-109, 119-108 and 120-107. That’s sheer dominance.