LAS VEGAS — Former heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne was released Monday from a Las Vegas hospital, where he was treated for dehydration after his loss to Deontay Wilder
Stiverne said he went straight to the hospital after Saturday night's bout at the MGM Grand, when he lost a 12-round decision and his piece of the title to Wilder.
"I'm not happy I lost the fight, but I'm more than happy that I'm alive," Stiverne said. "I wasn't aware of my condition until they diagnosed me."
Stiverne said he knew after the first round that something was wrong with him. He said after the third or fourth round he couldn't bring himself to throw punches when he saw openings.
But he made it through 12 rounds before dropping a lopsided decision for the second loss of his career.
"I was still trying to pull the trigger," he said. "I'm not a quitter, I was never a quitter. I just couldn't do anything."
Both the 36-year-old Stiverne and promoter Don King said they were taking nothing away from Wilder, who said after the fight he hurt his right hand in the third or fourth round and feared it was broken. Wilder, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, became the first American in nearly a decade to win a piece of the title.
"Deontay is the champion, this is no knock on Deontay," King said. "But Stiverne will be back and he will win the heavyweight title again."
Stiverne, who fell to 24-2-1, lost in his bid to defend the WBC title he won last May when he stopped Chris Arreola in the sixth round.
"I felt like I let my fans down. I would have rather lost the title going down swinging than just give it to somebody," Stiverne said. "Nevertheless I'm not going to take away from Deontay's performance. It just wasn't my day."
The WBC title had become vacant by the retirement of Vitali Klitschko.
Klitschko's brother, Wladimir Klitschko, is considered the overall heavyweight champion.