On Saturday May 10, 2014 ESPN presented championship boxing at the USC Galen Center, in Los Angeles, California. This was the first time that boxing was hosted on the Southern California College campus. In front of a Chris Arreola crowd Bermane Stiverne knocked out Arreola to win the WBC Heavy weight Championship and became the first Haitian born Heavyweight Champion.
This was also the first time since 2009 that promoter Don King walked out of a ring with a heavyweight champion under his banner. At the post fight press conference the 82 year old promoter had plenty to say, “You got a new champion,” King said, “but the champion is a champion of the people and we are going to return boxing back to the people.”
The fight was exciting from start to finish with each fighter having their moments. Early in the fight it was California native Arreola who had decent flurries and was outworking Stiverne. He continued to work while Stiverne was content with jabbing and talking. When Stiverne would fight back he did so with a sharp jab and a quick left hook.
Then mid way through round six Stiverne would strike like a cobra and dropped Arreola. Wasting little time Stiverne would attack and once again dropped Arreola. After struggling to his feet Stiverne came in and finished off Arreola once and for all bringing an end at 2:06 in round six.
“I came here with a mission,” Stiverne said at the post fight press conference, “I did not come here to lose, no one would beat me. I prevailed because I did my homework.”
Does this present a new era of heavy weight champions? Don King certainly thinks so. It remains to be seen if Stiverne can dominate the ranks the way Klitchko did. However, a new champion certainly opens the doors for new competitors and hopefully a shot of excitement to the heavyweight division. On Saturday night Stiverne showed a strong jab, great hand speed and punching power something that can create problems for future contenders and excitement for fight fans.