EXCLUSIVE: Stiverne shuns heavyweight rating debate, fought with injury
World Boxing News caught up with Bermane Stiverne this week following his heavyweight defeat to Trevor Bryan on Don King’s controversial Pay Per View card.
King took criticism for drafting Stiverne for the main event, getting the former WBC champion rated by the WBA for a crack at their ‘regular’ strap.
The move came under fire due to the fact Stiverne hadn’t won a fight for five years.
None-the-less, Stiverne stepped in to save the show, revealing to WBN that he did so with an injury into the bargain.
“To be honest, I wasn’t supposed to fight. I actually pulled out of the fight due to injury,” Stiverne exclusively told World Boxing News.
“During fight week, I felt the injury, but by the end, my biceps felt better, and I decided to take the fight.
“In the second round, I threw a left hook and pulled the same muscle. That’s why I was using the only hand that I had, which is my right hand.”
On his thought of Bryan, as a fighter beforehand, he added: “When it gets too far into fight week, and I haven’t fought, I don’t think of them until I get in there.”
Ask about the injury, and how he feels almost a week later, and whether the ailment is career-threatening, Stiverne replied: “Right now, I am in rehabilitation as my health comes first.
“I’m focused on getting my arm 100% before I think of anything else going forward.”
In the aftermath of Stiverne’s loss, most of the debate turned to how the ex-world title-holder got his opportunity in the first place.
The WBA took plenty of flak to sanction a fighter they ranked at number eleven the day before the fight.
Not to mention that Stiverne hadn’t had his hand raised in a victory since 2015,
Stiverne stated he would let everyone else do the talking.
“I’m not interested in people who talk (about what happened and why I was ranked). I’m not interested in their opinions, really.”
WBN decided to declassify the WBA as one of the sport’s significant bodies until they address their anomalies.
The case of Stiverne is one of several highlighted by WBN over several years, not just at heavyweight.
While garnering Stiverne’s views, WBN couldn’t let him go without asking him about former two-time opponent Deontay Wilder.
Not known for commenting on his opponents anyway, WBN wasn’t surprised that Stiverne opted out of the discussion.
“We all have our reason to complain or talk about issues that we may have. I can’t really speak for Wilder (and what he said about Tyson Fury),” pointed out Stiverne.
Pressed on whether Wilder should consider retirement, he concluded: “I don’t think so. Deontay Wilder still matters in the division.”