Stiverne makes the first ??defence of his WBC heavyweight title against unbeaten Wilder in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning – and the challenger has been telling anyone who will listen how he plans to come away with the belt.
Wilder has stopped all 32 opponents to date and says his first world title fight will be no different: among his various boasts are a vow to “hurt this guy” and a promise Stiverne will “not go past four rounds”.
Those threats are water off a duck’s back to the Haitian-Canadian champion, who sounded composed and concentrated when he faced the press on arrival in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
“I really don’t feel any emotions towards Deontay Wilder,” said Stiverne, who won the vacant title when he stopped Chris Arreola last May. “The most important thing is for me to defend my world title.
“All the trash talking that he does doesn’t worry me. He doesn’t have anything that I want. I am the champ. This is fighting, this is boxing, this is for real. I keep my concentration on the fight.”
Wilder has been taken beyond three rounds only four times but Stiverne, who at 36 is seven years older than the American, has prepared to go the distance.
He said: “We trained like he was the champion. We didn’t talk about his past experience. We trained like he has gone 12 rounds before.
“I’m here to fight for the people. I fight to inspire people anywhere in the world, that’s my responsibility since I am the world champion.”