SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2014 –Haitian-born Canadian Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) won the WBC heavyweight title In spectacular fashion with a powerhouse TKO victory over Californian Chris Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) in the sixth round.
Arreola, by far the favorite of the crowd at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles, was far better prepared for this rematch with Stiverne than in their previous fight a year ago. He was the aggressor through the first few rounds, putting Stiverne on the rope several times and showing better punch choices and head movement. He had trained hard, and it showed.
But Stiverne was patient, and waited for his opportunity. When it came in Round 6, he fired his powerhouse right hand, hitting Arreola on the temple. Arreola’s legs immediately turned to spaghetti, and he dropped to the canvas. He survived referee Jack Reiss’s first eight count, and went back for more.
Seconds later, Arreola was down again. Referee Reiss could have legitimately stopped the fight there, but he gave the game Arreola once more chance. When it was obvious Arreola’s heart was game but his body was not. Reiss leaned in, told Arreola “too much, Chris” and Arreola nodded in agreement. He stopped the fight at 2:02 of the round.
Stiverne was elated, while Arreola and his partisan fans were crushed. It was a fight of high emotions. After the official announcement by Michael Buffer, the two men embraced at the center of the ring, all trash talk turned to mutual respect.
Stiverne was still emotional in his post-fight interview on ESPN. When asked how he felt hearing his name announced as the new WBC heavyweight champion, he said, “I didn’t even hear, it was so loud I didn’t hear it… “ and began to cry.
Stiverne said he studied Arreola. ”I was patient. The plan was to let him get comfortable, and then when he got comfortable, crack him … When he was getting too comfortable, that’s when I threw the shot,” explained Stiverne.
“It was the same right hand I dropped him in the first fight… it was the same mistake. I knew it was a wrap, the way I trained. I knew I could knock him out, I got the power.”
Arreola said after the fight, “He has a tremendous right hand, man, that’s exactly what it was. I was winning. He got me with the same right hand, you can’t get away from it.”
Arreola was resigned to the outcome. “What can I do? Nothing but take my hat off to him. It’s boxing, it is what it is.” Arreola said he intends to continue what he’s doing. “ I gotta keep trucking … I’m going to cause commotion … No more cervezas, I gotta live a clean life man.” A postscript: ESPN conducted the interview with Arreola during the commercial break, replaying it with a great deal of Arreola’s vocabulary bleeped out.
Despite the need for the interview workaround, it was an exciting contest and take note: no one needed to pay $60 to watch it. ESPN deserves credit for airing the fight and offering a new broadcast venue for boxing. Let’s hope the ratings were good, the buzz is positive, and ESPN will be back with championship boxing on Saturday night again soon.
American Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) is Stiverne’s mandatory opponent. Wilder hasn’t ever gone past the fourth round in winning every single one of his fights by KO or TKO. On Twitter, Golden Boy Promotions’s Oscar De La Hoya wrote, “Congratulations #Stiverne, get some good rest enjoy your win and we will talk @BronzeBomber soon. @GoldenBoyBoxing.”
In the undercard fight, junior welterweights Amir Imam of Florida (12-0, 10 KOs) remained undefeated, looking solid winning a unanimous decision against Yordenis Ugas of Cuba (15-3, 7 KOs). Imam stepped up against a seasoned opponent and did well. He’s a name to watch in this division.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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