IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Their first fight produced mayhem so spirited it turned the main event that followed it into a walk-out bout. That was in 2012, a time when Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado had less ruinous options. Rios and Alvarado complete their trilogy this Saturday at the 1st Bank Center in Bloomfield, Colorado, in a fight that should complete their history, so unlikely is the possibility of a fourth act watchable in any way except through a mask of interlocked fingers.

Read Enough Is Not Enough: Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado lll Preview on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


If anyone had answers to give heading into the fight it was Wilder, who had run up a record with an almost vulgar ratio of fights to knockouts. Pole-axing a handful of names you would recognize, and a census of those you would not, Wilder, 33-0 (32), was expected to either bomb Stiverne out or be spectacularly exposed—and the absence of a middle ground in those outcomes speaks to just how split perception of Wilder was.

Read Work in Progress: Deontay Wilder W12 Bermane Stiverne on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport

002_Stiverne_and_Wilder_face_off (720x480)

Granted, it has been against forgettable opposition, but Wilder, 32-0 (32), has been snatching time from opponents since he turned pro in 2008. Having never fought through adversity, or even the fourth round, having never faced an opponent expected to do more than crumble under the first surge of hostility, Wilder’s achievements are not reflected in his gaudy record. However, considering the reactions of his opponents when he lands—all that spasming and silence—Wilder’s power seems legitimate. There is something frighteningly definitive about the finality he represents. One wonders not so much about whether Wilder’s fists are the genuine article, but whether the rest of him is.

Read Snatching Time: Bermane Stiverne-Deontay Wilder Preview on The Cruelest Sport.


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