Well, the show did go on. After one strange week, with fights that had been announced for Don King’s first card in such a long time being scrapped at the last minute, plenty of people were wondering if there would be any boxing taking place in Hollywood, Florida. In the end, with Manuel Charr out, unbeaten 31-year-old Trevor Bryan defended his version of the WBA heavyweight strap against former WBC ruler Bermane Stiverne.
And, in all honesty, the two big guys – each having tipped in at a pretty hefty 267 pounds – put on a reasonable fight. Stiverne, now aged 42 and last seen getting beaten up by Joe Joyce back in 2019, came to fight last night. In fact, had this been the younger version of Stiverne, the man who twice beat Chris Arreola, he might have taken the maligned belt Bryan instead managed to keep hold of.
The end came in the 11th round, as Bryan twice dropped a fatigued Stiverne. Both times Stiverne got back up, showing gameness, yet in the end he was not punching back, and the third man did his job and stopped it. Stiverne had had some moments in the fight yet eventually youth was served.
Bryan is now 21-0(15). Stiverne falls to 25-5-1(21).
Though fans may not have been overly impressed by Bryan’s win or by his performance (some fans are bound to point out how Wilder vaporized Stiverne in a round in their rematch), this will not stop Bryan from calling out the big names of the division. Bryan, who may have to deal with the cripplingly inactive Charr next, says he wants the Tyson Fury v Anthony Joshua winner.
That fight seems like a pipe dream for Bryan at this point, but at least he was able to get in the ring and end his own inactive spell last night. And those fans who did pay the $12 bucks to watch last night’s fight wound up getting served with a contest that was a lot better than most had anticipated going in.
The real upset was the fact that any fighting took place on King’s terribly troubling card. Will King promote any further shows, or is last night’s presentation destined to go down as his swansong?
Bryan v Stiverne sure was a world away from King’s epic heavyweight nights.