Bermane Stiverne injected some adrenaline into the heavyweight division when he gave Chris Arreola the business, scoring a TKO7 win in a fight seen on ESPN, in primetime, back in May.
As a fan of the sport, and that marquee division, I'd like to see the 35-year-old Stiverne capitalize on that effort, and gain momentum. So I reached out to his manager, the Canadian advisor/promoter Camille Estephan, wondering when and where and against whom Stiverne (24-1-1, with 21 KOs) will fight next.
"It will be against Deontay Wilder, Mike," Estephan told me on Thursday afternoon. "We want to fight Wilder. And while a fight with Wladimir Klitschko would have been nice, the timing didn't work out…so Wilder is the next best thing right now. He's got a record that sells, his KOs sell, and he's got a mouth that Bermane wants to shut up."
Don King promotes the Haitian born heavy, who lives in Las Vegas, and has lived in Canada, as well. The fighter is letting a stress fracture in his right hand, which formed late in the Arreola bout, heal up, but he will be ready for a scrap in later November or December, Estephan told me. "Bermane wants to make a statement," he continued. "Wilder doesn't know what he's getting into."
Stiverne, after his paw hurt for about a week, saw a hand specialist in Vegas, and he told him not to use the hand for eight weeks. But he's been staying fit, working out, staying in shape for his next clash. And where might that clash land? Too early to say. Wilder is with AlHaymon and Golden Boy, and Estephan says prelim talks with them have gone nicely, so he's thinking a plan can be hashed out, and there wouldn't be a cause to go to a purse bid. Estephan mentioned Las Vegas, or New York, and also Montreal, and Quebec, as possible drop zones for the tussle for the WBC belt which Stiverne is holding.
"It will sell anywhere," he said.
It's also too early to say if the match would be seen or HBO, or Showtime…and oh, don't forget ESPN, Estephan said, reminding that the Stiverne-Arreola bout did pretty well for The Worldwide Leader. "That fight is very appealing for TV, two heavyweights who can both punch, so we are in a very good position. True fight fans, boxing connoisseurs, I think they know Deontay is going to be in for a tough time," Estephan said, in closing.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV