WILDER RETAINS HEAVYWEIGHT BELT WITH FIRST-ROUND KNOCKOUT OF STIVERNE
Deontay Wilder cleaned up the closest thing to a blemish on his resume with a ferocious first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne as he remained undefeated and retained the WBC world heavyweight championship in his sixth title defense.
Wilder had wrested the title from Stiverne by unanimous decision nearly three years earlier. That made Stiverne the only opponent Wilder had not knocked out in a nine-year career.
That distinction was quickly erased in the rematch. Wilder registered three knockdowns in the final minute of the first round. The last one left Stiverne face down on the mat, the fight already over with referee Arthur Mercante Jr. having pulled Wilder away as he pummeled a slumping Stiverne along the ropes.
“I’m mobile, I’m hostile, I am the king baby and no heavyweight can compare to me,” said Wilder. “I’m very confident in what I do and tonight I showed that.”
Wilder’s hasty dismissal of Stiverne was an aberration in a night of action-packed and entertaining fights. In the co-headline bout, scrappy Adrian Granados refused to back down, repeatedly trying to punch his way off the ropes. But he spent too much time backed up there against former welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
“We worked really hard tonight,” said Porter. “We worked really hard before we got here. We knew what we were up against in Adrian Granados and he brought it all. We gave it right back to him, every time he came at me.”
With a convincing unanimous decision, Porter won the WBC Silver welterweight title and maintained his status as mandatory challenger for Keith Thurman, who edged Porter at Barclays Center in 2016 in one of the year’s best fights. The win over Granados was Porter’s third straight fight at Barclays Center, following his April knockout of Andre Berto.
Porter injured his left hand in the sixth round and gave up using it in the later rounds. But by that point he had built a more than enough of an advantage to earn the victory, keeping him in line for a rematch with Thurman.
“We’re gonna rest for about a week and then get back to work,” said Porter. “We want Keith Thurman as soon as possible.”
With the vacant IBF junior welterweight title on the line, Sergey Lipinets won a decisive unanimous decision over Akihiro Kondo to claim the belt. Both fighters were bloodied in a rugged bout, with an accidental head butt cutting Lipinets on the forehead.
“I think the scorecards were accurate, but it was a good fight,” said Lipinets. “The head-butt really impaired my vision and it led to me walking into some stupid shots. I’m happy with my performance. I’m just going to keep getting better from here. I’m ready to take on any challenge thrown my way.”
Dominic Breazeale defeated Eric Molina by TKO with the fight between two former heavyweight title challengers stopped after the eighth round and Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert won a unanimous decision in a featherweight matchup against Titus Williams. Junior featherweight champion Amanda Serrano returned to Barclays Center for her fourth fight in the BROOKLYN BOXING ring in the last 14 months, blitzing Marilyn Hernandez with three first-round knockdowns and TKO victory in a nontitle fight. Long Island’s Seanie Monaghan returned to the ring and improved to 29-1 with a unanimous decision over Evert Bravo.