Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) has been using sparring partner Demetrice King (15-20, 13 KOs) as a source of information to get him ready for his fight in two weeks from now against World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. King, 29, stopped Stiverne in the 4th round of their fight in 2007.
There was a little bit of controversy involved with the stoppage, however, because Stiverne was still standing and fighting back. He’d been hurt moments before by a big left-right from King, who then proceeded to land a flurry of head shots while Stiverne attempted to cover up on the ropes.
After King landed six unanswered blows to the head of Stiverne, the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Stiverne complained bitterly to the referee, but it was a good stoppage because Stiverne was getting battered by King.
“He’s the only guy who knocked him out. So we’re learning a lot from him about Stiverne. He’s telling us a lot about the way he moves, the way he holds his hands,” Wilder said to RingTV.com. “Demetrice told me that when he gets tired, he’ll lay on the ropes, and he told me about his head positioning and some of the other stuff that he does.”
I’m not sure that Deontay will be able to do the same kinds of things that King did when he beat Stiverne. King was a pretty rugged guy with an excellent chin, and this enabled him to take some vicious head shots from Stiverne without getting knocked out. King was stopped only twice in his career in his 20 defeats, so it’s not surprising that he was able to take Stiverne’s best shots and come back with his own power punches. King may have had a lot of defeats, but he had pretty good power and he definitely showed it against Stiverne.
Wilder needs to avoid getting hit a lot in this fight because it’s unclear whether his punch resistance is as good as King’s. We really don’t know yet how good of a punch Wilder can take, but it would be in his best interest to try and stay on the outside against Stiverne as much as possible on January 17th so that he doesn’t get hit with something too big.
Deontay has a number of other sparring partners to help him get ready for Stiverne, such as Jason Gavern, Nagy Aguilera and Dominick Guinn.