We had a bit of blue sky, some sunny rays breaking through a couple months back, scenes from a Klitschko-free heavyweight division. Seems like eons ago, but there was a bit of buzz when Bermane Stiverne snagged the up for grabs WBC heavyweight title, when he stopped Chris Arreola (TKO6) in a May clash which took place in Cali and ran on ESPN.
That blue sky has hazed over some, as time has passed, interest has shifted, and the division has regressed back into its default status: buzz-free. Momentary blips of adrenaline sometimes surge, then drop back when a fight that maybe could have been interesting (a la Bryant Jennings-Mike Perez) underwhelms, or a fight that at the least keeps the division on radar, however weakly, gets put off (a la Wladimir Klitschko vs. Kubrat Pulev, which was put off because of a Wlad injury). Which brings us to yet another one that will, for sure, grab some eyeballs when (and if?) it gets made: a Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder (ranked No. 1 by WBC) faceoff.
Stiverne has been worried of late that Wilder might be dodging this contest, might look for an easier route to grab a belt. I reached out to the Haitian-born hitter's manager, the Canadian promoter Camille Estephan, who helps guide the Stiverne ship with the inimitable and irrepressible Don King. So, Camille, are we going to see a Stiverne-Wilder fight, or what? Time's a wasting, momentum stalls…where we at?
“The purse bid for that fight was postponed to October 1,” Estephan told me. “We have 90 days from the bid date for the fight to happen. I'm happy about the fight happening in 2014.”
So, there ya go…a glimmer of light.
Any idea who wins the bid, King, Wilder's promoter Golden Boy, a wild card entrant like Roc Nation?
“A lot of speculation at this stage,” Estephan answered. “We don't know yet, but there is a lot of interest in this fight.”
On the Wilder side, his advisor/cornerman Jay Deas, the Alabaman, said he too is hopeful the fight gets made for 2014. “We should know by Oct. 5 all the details of when and where,” he told me.
A call to Don King's office was not returned, which is not unusual these days…
Good deal; I urge all parties to get 'er done and book the darned thing. This is more than ever an out of sight, out of mind business. You don't fight, you don't stay relevant, IMO.