Five months ago, Bermane Stiverne was a relative unknown debuting on HBO in front of an unsuspecting audience.
Now, he may be on the brink of one of the most lucrative fights in the sport.
According to manager Camille Estephan, he and Stiverne (21-1-1, 20 knockouts) met with Don King in Miami to discuss to possibility of facing Vitali Klitschko.
“Mr. King wants to do Rumble in the Jungle II,” said Estephan of the plans expressed to him by King, who promotes Stiverne. “He wanted to know whether Bermane would be ready. The Klitschkos, we have a lot of respect for them, but we want to fight them to beat them, we don’t want to fight them for a paycheck.”
King reportedly presented Stiverne and Estephan with tentative financial details if a deal could be reached for a title bout in Africa, which they have agreed to “in general terms.”
“If a situation arises that a fight with Vitali is possible, we’ll take it,” assured Estephan.
According to a report this week by RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield, Vitali may be closer to a deal with David Haye for a March 3 bout in Germany. In that case, the Canadian knockout specialist would have no shortage of potential suitors, particularly because he holds the WBC “Silver” heavyweight title—the mandatory gateway to Vitali.
If Haye is to scoop up the big spot, Stiverne is interested in taking on a man he feels is mimicking Haye in the meantime.
“Bermane was telling me the other day, I’d like to shut this Tyson Fury guy up, because he’s not for real,” said Estephan. “He’s talking a lot. This man is another David Haye, he’s very smart with his mouth, and he’s making a name for himself talking. I have to give him credit for that, because we haven’t seen much boxing skills. So we’d like to shut him up.”
News and notes:
– Immediately following his victory over Canadian heavyweight Neven Pajkic, Tyson Fury announced that he was pursuing a fight with WBA “regular” titleholder Alexander Povetkin in Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to Adam Harris of Hennessey Sports, which handles the career of Fury, there will be some Canadian flavor alongside him once again, this time elsewhere on the card.
Harris’ other main project, super featherweight prospect Logan Cotton McGuinness, is projected to be on the proposed card. McGuinness, 24, is coming off an 11th round knockout victory of former title challenger Benoit Gaudet in October. At the recent WBA convention, the Mississauga, Ontario-based fighter was named NABA Fighter of the Year, so one can expect him to climb the sanctioning body’s rankings quickly if he continues his winning ways.
– Speaking of Pajkic, he and his promotional outfit Wild Card Promotions would like a rematch with Fury. If it does not happen, an all-Canadian clash with Tye Fields could be an option.
The two sides have been to the bargaining table before, but Pajkic’s promoter Rick Smiciklas claims Fields’ side has been less than accommodating despite publicly calling his fighter out in the past.
– In more Hennessey news, stable member Victor Lupo will take on fellow Canadian Antonin Decarie in the main event of a national pay-per-view event on December 17 at the Pepsi Centre in Quebec City.
Decarie was last seen on ESPN Friday Night Fights defeating Shamone Alvarez, in front of a complimentary Teddy Atlas, who was quite fond of his pressure fighting ways. Lupo, meanwhile, defeated former beltholder Junior Witter earlier this year in a roughhouse-filled affair televised both in Canada and in the United Kingdom.
The two welterweights will face off with a regional WBC title at stake.
– Light welterweight prospect Tony Luis, recently released from his contract with Groupe Yvon Michel, is reportedly garnering interest from several American promoters. In an unusual set of circumstances, Michel parted ways with Luis immediately following a first round knockout victory over Alejandro Barrera in October. The win allowed him to enter the WBC rankings—typically a promoter’s dream—but also landed him on the free agent market.
– Well, it’s not quite Mikkel Kessler, but Renan St. Juste will get a nice Showtime date anyway. Instead of Kessler in front of a sold out crowd in Denmark or Montreal though, St. Juste will meet Anthony Dirrell on ShoBox, thousands of miles away from their home bases (Dirrell’s being in Flint, Michigan) at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. The trusty ol’ Chumash has been home to plenty of ShoBox cards in the past, but it’s really hard to imagine any Quebecois or Michigander making the trek, no matter how warm it is there.
The December 2 broadcast will also feature a nice super bantamweight tilt in Chris Avalos vs. Jhonotan Romero. Avalos has fought at the Chumash seven times, so he might have enough Players Club points to score some free rooms and help out the St. Juste and Dirrell fans wondering how they’ll afford an international or cross-country trip and boarding so close to Christmas time.
– And in the most adorable news bit of the week, lightweight prospect Ibrahim Kamal married former amateur boxer Miranda Jollymore in their home gym of the Cabbagetown Boxing Club in Toronto, Ontario. Fittingly, the two exchanged vows in the center of the ring in front of a small crowd. However, more than those who were in attendance got to see it: The ceremony made the national news in Canada.
Who says boxing, or chivalry, are dead?
Corey Erdman is also the host of RingTV Radio. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman