TWELVE YEARS OF HEAVYWEIGHT HURT

By Tony Nash [@mrtonynash]

Since 2007 no American fighter has held a version of the world heavyweight title. The last man to win it was Shannon Briggs who then went on to lose it on points to Sultan Ibragimnov in just his first defence.

The mourning of the loss of the heavyweight title could finally be over for the U.S fight fans as on January 17, the “Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder challenges Bermane “BWare”  Stiverne for the WBC version of the world title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

It has been twelve years since the United States dominance of the heavyweight title ended. The Klitschko brothers’ strangle hold over the belts and the lack of any credible challengers over the years has increased that vice like grip eastern Europe has had over the most prized possession in boxing.

Despite not really fighting anyone of note and not having his chin tested, there is a sense of hope this time knock out artist Wider 32-0 (32) can end the years of American hurt. The belief amongst some is that the 2008 Bronze medalist has the charisma and power to beat Bermane Stiverne 24-1-1 (21) who himself is a big puncher.

The Haitian born Canadian has the experience to come up with a game plan to avoid Wilder’s frightening power, but will that experience be enough to stop a determined Wilder desperate to end Americas title pain? Will it be enough to stop the 29 year old heavyweight becoming the first American born heavyweight champion in over a decade?

On January 17 we will find out. But I leave you with this, when the opening bell sounds….don’t blink.