Only one fighter had gone the distance against the power of Deontay Wilder. Bermane Stiverne lost that fight and his WBC heavyweight title in a unanimous decision in 2015. But Stiverne couldn’t go the distance in the first round of the sequel Saturday night at Barclays Center.
Wilder knocked down Stiverne three times, this last time for the knockout. Referee Arthur Mercante stopped the carnage 2:59 into the fight.
The 32-year-old from Alabama improved to 39-0 with 38 KOs.
“One champion, one face, one name — he goes by Deontay Wilder,” Wilder said.
This main event was a sequel that wasn’t originally supposed to happen. It was supposed to be Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz. But the undefeated Cuban southpaw lost his shot at the title by testing positive for two banned substances.
Stiverne was supposed to fight Dominic Breazeale. Instead, Wilder got a rematch against Stiverne, the 39-year-old mandatory challenger.
Breazeale still wound up on the card, facing Eric Molina in an eliminator match for the right to fight for the WBC championship. Both Breazeale and Molina had lost IBF title fights last year to England’s Anthony Joshua, who has since added the WBA and IBO belts.
Wilder has his eye on a unification date with Joshua.
“I declare war upon you,” Wilder said. “Do you accept my challenge?”
Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) won the WBC eliminator on a TKO when the ringside physician stopped the bout after the eighth round.
“Deontay is who I want to face,” Breazeale said. “I have to see him. We have some personal business that we need to square up man to man.”
Sergey Lipinets beat Akihiro Kondo for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title and Shawn Porter, the former IBF welterweight champ, beat Adrian Granados for the WBC silver welterweight title. Both were 12-round unanimous decisions.
Titus Williams stepped into the ring at 7-0, but the 28-year-old boxer from Elmont no longer was perfect when he stepped out after his junior lightweight bout. Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert remained undefeated through his first seven fights, emerging after eight rounds with a unanimous decision over Williams.
“I’ve worked hard to get to this point and I’m not going to let one fight get me down,” Williams said.
Williams, who weighed in at 126.8 pounds, got knocked down once by Colbert, in the fourth round. “I was caught off-balance,” Williams said. “I closed the distance a little bit at the end of the fight, but I just wish he had engaged more.”
Seanie Monaghan fought the last bout on the 11-fight card. The 36-year-old pride of Long Beach fought at a few pounds above the usual 175-pound light heavyweight limit and bounced back from his first pro loss in July. He improved to 29-1 by beating Evert Bravo in a unanimous decision.
“I’m happy to be back in the right column,” Monaghan said. “The guy was tough. He didn’t want to quit. He came all the way up here from Colombia. I got some good rounds in.”