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Heavyweight legend Evander ‘Real Deal’ Holyfield believes that Deontay Wilder will win the WBC heavyweight championship on January 17 against Bermane Stiverne.
The 29-year-0ld has won all 32 of his previous professional fights, all coming by way of knockout, but he will face his biggest test yet when he faces Stiverne.
Wilder has consistently been criticised for the lack of quality in terms of opponents that he has faced previously, but there is no denying his power and speed, and Holyfield believes that is what will make the difference on January 17.
“I think it’s an even match-up. I would give an edge to Wilder because he’s a fast, quick fighter who gets his hands off. When you’re that big and get your hands off, you hurt somebody. You hurt them and they can’t recover,” Holyfield said, according to Boxing Scene.
“He’s got the hand speed and that reach advantage and still fights that amateur style which is great. You fight amateur and you learn to fight the best way. A lot of these guys turn pro and fall into the pro style and tend to get lazy.”
The 52-year-old, a four-time heavyweight world champion, did concede though that it would suit Stiverne more the longer the fight went on as Wilder has yet to be tested beyond the first few rounds.
However, if Wilder comes out quick and looks for the stoppage from the off, then Stiverne could be in for a brutal and painful night as his opponent looks to arrive on the world stage and move closer to stepping into the ring with Wladimir Klitschko later in the year.