LAS VEGAS – Bermane Stiverne, who was listless and didn't let his hands go nearly enough Saturday when he lost his WBC heavyweight title to Deontay Wilder, remained hospitalized because of severe dehydration.
Stiverne was taken to University Medical Center following his wide unanimous decision loss to Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden on Saturday. He did not attend the post-fight news conference and was taken to the hospital for a precautionary examination.
But doctors discovered he was badly dehydrated and admitted him. He remained hospitalized on Sunday, though trainer Don House said he was in good spirits.
Promoter Don King was puzzled after the fight why Stiverne, who entered the bout having been impressive in back-to-back exciting, high-action victories over Chris Arreola, was so reticent to punch.
King told Yahoo Sports Sunday that former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes had texted him during the fight and urged him to tell Stiverne's corner to pour water on him because he noticed something wrong.
"It turns out that Larry Holmes is a very wise and observant man and knows of that of which he speaks," King said. "I came over to the hospital as soon as I heard, and they're saying it was amazing that he was able to stand up. They're giving him intravenous. But this explains to me why he fought the way that he did.
"In watching him, I'm saying to myself, 'Where is the guy who fought Arreola twice?' We didn't see that guy and I was shocked. Now, we know why."
House said Stiverne was coherent during the fight, but admitted he was unable to get his punches off like he wanted. House said Stiverne trained hard in camp, but said he didn't monitor his nutrition and fluid intake the way he should have.
He said that will be a priority for Stiverne moving forward.
"He said that he wasn't bothered too much by [Wilder's] punches, but he was unable to get off with his own," House said. "We knew in the corner that something was wrong. He was talking to us but he wasn't able to perform like he had been."
King said he hopes to get a rematch. He said he doesn't want to get in the way of Wilder, who wants to face Tyson Fury if he is not required to face mandatory challenger Bryant Jennings. Jennings' team is in talks for a bout with unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, which would give Wilder the opportunity to face Fury.
At some point, though, King wants to put Stiverne back in the ring with Wilder so that Stiverne can fight without issues.
"I am worried about the young man's health and that's why I have been here with him," King said. "But in a way, I'm glad we learned this. Everything I saw in the fight contradicted what he had done in his other fights. But this explains it. I like Deontay and I don't want to get into his way, but I think at some point when he's back and feeling better, Bermane deserves a rematch and I'm going to talk to [WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman] about that."