Heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder lived up to his promise of a knockout Saturday night, destroying Bermane Stiverne in the first round of their rematch before 10,924 to retain his title for the sixth time.
Wilder was so upset over the change of opponent that at the final prefight news conference on Thursday promised a knockout in graphic terms, saying, "The ambulance better be ready". However, this was such a demolition job that one thing we can be assured about - and grateful for - that we won't have to see these two fight again.
BBC reports that Wilder was taken the full distance for the only time in his career when he beat Stiverne on points to claim the WBC belt in January 2015. You want to do [Joshua-Wilder] at a soccer stadium in the United Kingdom, let's do it. Deontay Wilder will put Anthony Joshua to sleep the same way he just put Stiverne to sleep.
It wasn't long before the opening came as Wilder breached the high guard of "B".
"I was really interested to see the weight of Deontay Wilder on the scales, 15st 9".
After knocking his opponent out in a brutal first round at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, the U.S. boxer called out to his British rival: "I declare war on you".
"I'm waiting for this fight for so long, I declare war, accept it-you accept my challenge?"
Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) made it to his feet but Wilder barreled in and sent him clattering to the deck once more with another series of looping, clubbing lefts and rights. With his win, Wilder extended his undefeated professional record to 39 victories, 38 by knockout. I've been waiting for a long time. No more hiding, no more ducking, no more dodging, no more excuses.
Whether the Matchroom boss has a change of heart following Wilder's explosive win remains to be seen but there are many in the sport who would rather see Joshua share the ring with Wilder than with United Kingdom rival Tyson Fury - as proposed now. "Make the date, don't wait".
Wilder, 32, now wants a money-spinning unification clash with WBA and IBF champion Joshua next year and is happy to travel to England for it.
Joshua is firmly in Wilder's sights.
"A king don't chase the peasants", Wilder said post-Stiverne. I know I'm the champion.