If not for a career-changing injury, World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title-holder Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (24-1, 21 KOs) may have been a professional football player instead of becoming champion of the world in professional boxing.
The 6′ 2″, 248-pound Stiverne had a Michigan State football scholarship to play linebacker for the Spartans, but he blew-out his knee midway through his freshman year (1997) during a practice session. Stiverne remains an avid football player and he has picked Oregon to defeat Ohio State this Monday night in the College Football National Championship game.
“I like Oregon in the championship game,” Stiverne said from his Las Vegas home. “They’re consistent and have the best offense in the country. Plus, the way they beat Florida State was sweet.”
Stiverne, who knocked out Chris Arreola (35-4) this past May to claim the coveted WBC title belt vacated by retired Vitali Klitschko, makes his first title defense Saturday night, Jan. 17, against undefeated mandatory challenger Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs), airing on Showtime Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) live from MGM Grand in Las Vegas.