We knew we had a fight, but until Friday we just didn't know where it was going to be.
It will be another clash of two guys that weigh a combined 500-pounds on May 10 in Los Angeles. It’s the rematch between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola for the WBC heavyweight belt vacated by the now retired Vitali Klitschko.
Of course the first time around the fight was won by Stiverne. Arreola was decked in the third round, had his nose broken in five places, bled profusely and dropped a unanimous decision. At best, Arreola won two or three rounds of the twelve.
On Friday, Arreola (36-3, 31KOs) said he is eager for the rematch to happen. He is from California and the bout will take place at the Galen Center located on the USC campus. He indicated he's going to be in great shape and for the first time in his career has actually taken to the practice of doing roadwork. He told ESPN’s Teddy Atlas that he was now running about 2 ½ miles per day.
“You know what? This fight is going to be tough,” said Arreola this past Friday afternoon. “But I made it more tough on myself the last time. This time I’m going to come more prepared than ever. I’ve got to win this title. That’s my goal in life and it’s going to happen. I want the belt. I’m ready to be a champ and I’m ready to take over all of boxing. I’m ready to take Klitschko on. I’m looking for bigger and better things, to get this title. Eventually I’ll get to Deontay Wilder also.”
Stiverne can best be described as “a citizen of the world” a la Trevor Berbick. Haitian born, his family moved to Miami, Florida when he was nine and then later moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 35-year-old now fights out of Las Vegas under the guidance of trainer Don House.
House has trained numerous world champions over his long training career and he says that, “Arreola can’t fight backing up.”
For his part, Stiverne (23-1-1, 20KOs) claims he has no feeling one way or the other toward Arreola as all he cares about is winning and defending the title. A man of very few words, it’s difficult to get the man with the nickname “B. Ware” to elaborate.
“He doesn’t pose any threat to me. Whatever he brings I’ll just go with the flow, “ says Stiverne of Arreola. “I’m just going to get this fight out of the way and then we’ll see what happens in the future. My preparation won’t change much, I just need to be mentally ready. I’m expecting the unexpected, so what I’m doing is getting ready for the unexpected. Whatever he brings to the table – it’ll be handled. I don’t see him winning the fight. We’re in the gym working and working hard. I’m in my prime right now and I don’t see me getting out of the ring without the belt.”
It is difficult to see how Arreola changes enough about his game and physical condition to swing the return bout in his favor. Stiverne troubled Arreola in every aspect of the first bout and generally outfought him. Arreola was decked hard by a big right hand that he never saw coming. Even when he backed Stiverne to the ropes he was never able to follow up enough to do much. Look for Stiverne to be the victor in Arreola’s hometown.
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