Has Bermane ‘’Be Ware’’ Stiverne Got a Puncher’s Chance?

By Shaun Murphy: Bermane ‘’B Ware’’ Stiverne may only be known by hardcore Canadian boxing fans, but this could change. Why? He’s a puncher and he’s getting better.

Bermane was born in Haiti in 1978. His father, a champion kick boxer, emigrated to Canada to work as a taxi driver when Bermane was young and left him amongst 13 brothers and sisters until he could sort things out. Bermane stayed in Haiti until he was 10 and then went to live with his extended family in Miami. Within 3 years he had added the English language to his native Creole tongue.

Bermane’s problems started when he reached high school and was confronted by a bullying culture where older students victimized the young. Bermane wouldn’t back down. This caused him to get into a series of fights that worried his mother: her solution was to send him to his father in Montreal.

In Canada, away from Miami’s ghettoized streets, Bermane began to play American football. While adding the French language to his resume, Bermane developed a reputation as a big, tough linebacker and earned himself a scholarship with the Michigan State Spartans. He never played for them; instead he returned to Miami and started a job in telesales.

During this period Bermane adopted the gluttoness, lazy lifestyle choice of so many Americans and he grew fat. Two years into this miserable way of life, Bermane’s friend told him that he’d solved his own weight problems through boxing! With a simple intention of sliming down, Bermane started his journey inside the squared circle.

Bermane had his amateur fight a year later. From the start of his amateur career, possibly with the harsh reality of his birthplace driving him on, Bermane showed very real potential and ended his career in the vest with a respectable record of 49-10. The highlight being in 2004 when he entered a Finish amateur tournament and beat David Price and Robert Hellenius to win gold. Against Price, Stiverne showed he was capable of dealing with the bigger, stronger heavyweights of today by stopping him with a Rocky Marciano-style overhand right in the second.

At 27, after 7 years in the unpaid codes, Bermane turned pro and knocked out Ray Matthews in the first round. He won his next three fights by the same route: if nothing else, Bermane showed he was a class above the club fighter. And he was dangerous!
Bermane’s career up until losing to a guy called Demetrious King consisted of him knocking out club fighters of limited ability. And, after his defeat, he re-entered Easy Street and stalked through, and knocked out, the lower echoleans of pugilism and showed no evidence of his potential at world class. Then, on the 25th of June, 2011, Bermane stepped up in class and showed a glimpse of what could come.

I’m not for one second saying Ray Austen is a great fighter. Nevertheless, he is a cagey tough guy who has mixed in world-class; he has a draw with Sultan Ibragimov to prove it. When Austen stepped into the ring with Bermane he showed this hard-earned experience by out-boxing his uninspired younger opponent with relative ease.

Then – in the tenth – from nowhere – Bermane threw a left hook that landed on Austin’s temple. Austen’s back crashed onto the canvas; he got up after 9 seconds; he waked towards the ref on unsteady legs; Bermane ‘’Be Ware’’ Stiverne had proven one thing: you can outbox him, but if he catches you, you’re out.

Today’s heavyweight division needs guys like Bermane Silveterne. He may be lazy, slow and easy to hit, but he’s an out and out fighter that can end a fight in any round. That makes him exciting. He may never make it to world heavyweight champion, but he’s a puncher; so, regardless of whom he faces, he has a chance.

Article posted on 26.08.2011

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