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Deontay Wilder becomes first American to win heavyweight title in decade – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 19th, 2015 by Ian

Deontay Wilder becomes first American to win heavyweight title in decade
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The drought is finally over for American heavyweights as Deontay Wilder beat former champion Bermane Stiverne by a wide unanimous decision in Las Vegas on January 18th to take his WBC crown. Wilder, a former waiter, kitchen worker, and bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, raised his record to 33-0 with 32 Kos. This was the first time the native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, went past four rounds and the first time he hasn’t knocked his opponent out. However, he still dominated the fight.

The 29-year-old Wilder won by a wide margin on the scorecards as the judges gave him the bout by scores of 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108. The 36-year-old Stiverne fell to 24-2-1 with the loss with 21 Kos and most fans were surprised this fight went the entire 12 rounds. The two boxers had a combined 53 knockouts in 56 wins heading into the contest due to their tremendous power. Not only did the fight go the distance, but there weren’t any official knockdowns recorded either.

Wilder is now the first American to win a heavyweight crown since 2006 and he happened to do it on Muhammad Ali’s birthday, as the Greatest turned 73 the same day. Wilder has never met a top-10 contender before, let alone a world champion, but showed fans that he has a fine, stiff jab to go along with his powerful straight right hand and left hook. After the fight Wilder told the media, “I think I answered a lot of questions tonight,” Wilder said. “We knew we could go 12 rounds. We knew we could take a punch. All the hard work was done in camp. I had fun. I’m just excited.”

The last American to own a version of the heavyweight crown was Shannon Briggs. He didn’t hold it long though as he was beaten by Sultan Ibragimov in his first defence just seven months after winning it. Since Briggs, the heavyweight titles have all been held by Europeans, with Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko dominating the titles for the majority of the time. Wladimir Klitschko still owns the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles as well as the lineal championship. He’s been champion for almost nine years and has defended his belts 17 times.

Vitali Klitschko retired a couple of years ago and the WBC belt became vacant. Stiverne won it when he stopped American Chris Arreola in the sixth round last May, and although he now resides in America, Stiverne was born in Haiti. With the title win over Arreola, Stiverne became the first-ever Haitian heavyweight champion. Stiverne was ordered to meet Wilder since he was the WBC’s top-ranked boxer and mandatory challenger.

Wilder connected on 227 of his 621 punches for a connect rate of 37 per cent, while Stiverne’s percentage was 34 per cent as he connected on 110 of his 327 shots. Stiverne’s promoter Don King said Wilder deserved to win and he was surprised he did it so easily. He then added that you can’t win a boxing match without throwing any punches and Stiverne didn’t let his hands go enough.

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