Stiverne Wants to “End Povetkin Early”

Bermane Stiverne is in enemy territory for his interim heavyweight title fight with Russia’s Alexander Povetkin. But the Canadian is comfortable with the setting for this pivotal Dec. 17 matchup, and he’s motivated by the opportunity to earn another shot at WBC king Deontay Wilder.

"Russia is a beautiful country," Stiverne told BoxingScene. "As for the weather, I’m used to such a climate because I live in Canada. This is something that I’ve seen before. Frankly, I was in Canada for a long time, but now I am constantly in Las Vegas and Miami – but I knew what to expect before I came here."

Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) and Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) will fight for an interim WBC belt as Wilder has been sidelined with a hand injury. Stiverne is burning for another shot at the champion: they fought in January of 2015, when Wilder outboxed Stiverne on the way to a unanimous decision victory, taking Stiverne’s undisputed title.

The Canadian heavyweight says that things will be different when he fights Povetkin, and if he does get a chance at redemption against Wilder.

While he entered his contest with Wilder out of shape and unprepared for the championship 12 rounds, he will be a different animal when he steps into the ring with Povetkin. Though he says he’s ready to go the distance, Stiverne believes he will knock the Russian out early in the contest.

"I had to work on endurance. I had to pour more fuel into my tanks. I worked on it. I have to be in good physical shape in order to win, to do it with confidence. We – along with my trainers did everything we planned – to have enough power for all 12 rounds. But as I said earlier, I do not plan to box for 12 rounds and I’m going to try to finish the fight early. I know that Povetkin is a very talented fighter and you have to be ready for anything."

Though a victory earns Stiverne or Povetkin a shiny interim title, Stiverne is not motivated by gold. He’s motivated by the chance to redeem himself against Wilder and prove that he is one of the division’s top fighters.

"I have only one goal: to re-enter the ring with Wilder. I wasn’t even interested in the title, I just want another fight with him. The way I lost to him…I will say this: this is not a loss that I can accept. I was out of shape, and I have something for him in a rematch. But right now my goal is to beat Povetkin, so all my thoughts are only about this fight. I circled the entire globe, and I did not come here to lose."

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