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Bernstein: Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder will “re-energize the heavyweight division

Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein said the Jan. 17 clash between WBC Heavyweight Champion Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder will “re-energize the heavyweight division in the U.S.” Bernstein, who will serve as ringside analyst for this event added, “When Stiverne won the vacant title against Chris Arreola that was an exciting fight and it started the momentum. This match, on U.S. soil featuring an American by birth (Wilder) and a resident of the U.S. (Stiverne), will create great buzz for the division here. I expect this to be a wildly exciting match that does not go the distance.”

On Friday, Jan.16 Al will have a special Boxing Hangout show to analyze this big match. Joining Al will be his SHOWTIME SPORTS® announcing colleague Mauro Ranallo. It can be seen at This match, to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, will be seen live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Bernstein raised the key questions surrounding this match: “Deontay Wilder has knocked out everyone he’s faced, but he has not fought anyone close to the same level as Stiverne. How will he handle that? Stiverne has faced tougher competition and has a title, but he may never have faced a puncher like Wilder. Can he deal with that power? These are the issues that make this match so intriguing.” As an interesting sidenote this match is being held on Muhammad Ali’s birthday. Bernstein said, “I think the irony of that is interesting because we may look back on this night and see an event that had significant impact on the heavyweight division, surely something Ali would appreciate.”