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Deontay Wilder still has eyes on Stiverne headed into August 16 tune-up

Deontay Wilder will be staying busy this Saturday night on Showtime Extreme, and still has his eyes locked on WBC champ Bermane Stiverne.

Scott Heavey
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Deontay Wilder will be staying busy this weekend on Showtime Extreme, as the heavyweight knockout artist takes on Jason Gavern in a fight scheduled but unlikely to see 10 rounds.

Wilder (31-0, 31 KO) has dominated opponents of this level and lower thus far in his pro career, which started cautiously in 2008 and has been a slow burn to get him into competitive matchups. That said, Wilder, 28, was set to face WBC titleholder Bermane Stiverne, who had to postpone their fight due to injury. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, Wilder will do what he's always done: get in the ring and stay busy.

"Discipline is a mental thing, and I'm mentally strong," he said. "All of the hard work is in the gym and with the sparring. When it's time to actually fight that's the easy part, and it's more fun actually. But it's not hard for me to stay disciplined at all."

As for his approach in the ring, Wilder says it's not as static as it may seem. "I've changed lots of things regarding my style. I'm more patient now. I'm definitely a thinker now and that maturity helps me. People will find out that I'm a different kind of guy. They'll see when I become the heavyweight champ just how disciplined I am."

Gavern (25-16-4, 11 KO) figures to be nothing more than another speed bump under the Mack truck that Wilder has appeared to be to date, but while the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist says he's not overlooking this or any fight, he's still focused on that fight with Stiverne.

"Camp has been the same as always. We're not looking past August 16, but we know to prepare for Stiverne. That's how confident I am in my ability and skills," he said.

"I'm not worried about people picking the ‘right guy' for me. I would be the laughing stock of the world if I had the title fight lined up and lost this fight on August 16. So I just have to get the job done next week and we'll go from there."

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