Is the U.S. Heavyweight Division Making A Comeback?
After the electrifying Heavyweight matchup on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” between Chris Arreola (American) and Bermane Stiverne (Haitian) there seems to be a renewed energy behind the Heavyweight division across the United States sports landscape.
The fight was for the WBC Heavyweight title which was most recently held by Vitali Klitschko. Upon Vitali’s retirement from the sport (he is pursuing a career in politics) the belt was up for grabs and Stiverne now holds the only recognized Heavyweight belt that doesn’t belong to Wladimir Klitschko (Wlad holds 3 of the 4 belts).
Being that Stiverne stands only 6 ft 2 and has a relatively short reach it is believed he wouldn’t stand a chance against Wladimir. As long as Stiverne is managed by Don King it is believed Bermane wouldn’t accept such a lop-sided fight this early in his reign as Heavyweight Champion. Wlad has already released a statement of his intentions to face Stiverne and unify his Heavyweight title. A Stiverne vs Klitschko matchup in the near future is highly unlikely.
What is probable is a matchup between Stiverne and one of the top WBC HW contenders such as Deontay Wilder, Mike Perez or Bryant Jennings. Of the three options the biggest possible draw would undoubtedly be the undefeated Knockout artist Deontay Wilder.
What would Stiverne vs Wilder do for the U.S. Heavyweight division?
A Canadian/Haitian fighter (Stiverne) vs the American knockout superstar (Wilder) would create as appealing of a Heavyweight fight than we have seen in many years. The “Friday Night Fight” between Stiverne and Arreola provided the highest rated ESPN Boxing match since 2003 and a matchup between Wilder and Stiverne would certainly be expected to pull in even higher ratings.
Comment your thoughts below.