By Matt Richardson
“It was a magical night tonight.”
Those were the words of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder early Sunday morning in a back room of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Approximately one hour earlier Wilder (39-0, 38 KO’s) violently knocked out former title-holder Bermane Stiverne in just less than three minutes.
It was the type of definitive knockout that boxing fans love and it was the type of performance, Wilder said, that illustrates his position as one of the elite heavyweights in the world.
“I’m just ready to prove that I am the best,” Wilder said at the post-fight press conference. “That’s all I want. Of course Stiverne, for some, wasn’t the best. You know, some already predicted…I said I was going to knock him out and I did that. And now…over and over again I keep sending messages out to the heavyweight division that I am the man to beat. I am the most feared. I do hit the hardest. I am who I say I am. I don’t speak – I don’t say things just to say it because people have cameras in my face or people have…you know what I’m trying to say,” Wilder said as his voice trailed off.
Stiverne – knocked down three times in just two minutes and 59 seconds – didn’t appear at the presser.
His absence, however, didn’t affect the post-fight mood as inevitable talk arose about a potential superfight with undefeated WBA/IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Wilder.
The WBC champ didn’t shy away from speculating about the future showdown.
“I just want to prove that I am the best,” Wilder said. “I want to know for myself. I said, I believe it and I’m receiving it. Now, I want to prove it to the world. So, hopefully these heavyweights in the division see what I’ve done and don’t get too frightened. Hope they want to feel the same way. I want to unify the division. The heavyweight division is too small to have so many champions…three, four…three. There should be one champion, one face, one name and his name is Deontay Wilder.”
It’s unlikely that Wilder will go right into the match against Joshua, the latter of whom just fought last month. If the boxers do fight interim matches, Wilder could defend his belt next year against former Joshua victim Dominic Breazeale.
Breazeale stopped Eric Molina inside eight rounds on the undercard earlier Saturday night.
Former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter won a rough unanimous decision against Adrian Granados in the co-featured fight of the evening. With the win, Porter stayed in line to get a rematch against Keith Thurman when the latter returns from an injury-induced layoff.
Ironically, it was Porter who hurt his left hand in the win over Granados, an injury that could wind up putting Porter on the shelf until he’s fully healed.
“We worked really hard tonight,” Porter (28-2-1, 17 KO’s) said at the start of the press conference. “He (Granados) brought it all tonight and we gave it right back to him. I really hurt my hand, my left hand, my jab hand. I’m very proud of my performance. I came in here prepared to knock him out.”
Despite the injured left hand (Porter suspected it was fractured early Sunday morning), he said that he was still “prepared to fight Keith Thurman as soon as possible.”