Excitement returned to boxing's heavyweight division last night in Los Angeles, as Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne met in the ring for a second time, but this time for the WBC heavyweight title recently vacated by Vitali Klitschko. Stiverne went on to win the bout by TKO in round six. The event was presented by Don King Promotions and Goossen Promotions from the USC Galen Center, televised live on ESPN.
From the first bell, Arreola came out throwing blows and dominating the tempo of the fight. Looking much leaner and well prepared than his first meeting with Stiverne, it was apparent Arreola was taking nothing for granted.
Landing well placed punches, Arreola had Stiverne up against the ropes several times, landing clean blows mostly to the head of Stiverne. Throwing blows if his own, Stiverne displayed great work by landing good combinations to the body and head of Arreola, but the determined Arreola kept fighting back.
Clearly, ahead on the score cards through three rounds of toe-to-toe action, Arreola continued to work Stiverne, delivering a beautiful barrage of punches to the head, keeping Stiverne mostly in defensive mode. Arreola's trainer, Henry Ramirez instructed his fighter to work the body of Stiverne going into round four, a key element on the outcome of the fight.
Arreola did take the advice of his trainer and had some success landing body shots, as well as shots to the head of Stiverne. It appeared that Arreola could win this fight if he continued the pace.
In round five, Stiverne came to life, landing some hard blows on Arreola. A tiring Arreola continued to hang in the fight, but it was apparent Stiverne was not going away anytime soon.
One could not argue the stellar performance by Arreola, however, it would all come to an end in round six, when Arreola would drop to the canvas from a hard right thrown by Stiverne, the first of two knock downs. Arreola beat the count, but was clearly dazed. Stiverned turned it up a notch, throwing a series of punches that yet again sent Arreola to the canvas for a second time. With pure heart, Arreola beat the count, but could do nothing with the oncoming barrage of punches from Stiverne.
Having seen enough, referee Jack Reiss steps in and calls a halt to the action at 2:02 of round six. Arreola's dream of becoming the first Mexican heavyweight champion would fade in the sunset, but make no mistake, Arreola will be back.
For Bermane Stiverne, he makes history by becoming the first Haitian born heavyweight to become a world champion, good news for a country that has been plagued with one disaster after another.