Arreola vs. Stiverne on March 9th in Costa Mesa, California
By Allan Fox: Former heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola (35-2, 30 KO’s) will be fighting Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KO’s) on March 9th in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator bout in a fight that will be televised by HBO at The Hangar, in Costa Mesa, California. The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.
The Arreola-Stiverne winner may not get to fight Vitali because he’s considering retirement, and if he does fight on it’ll likely be against other guys like David Haye. However, the Arreola vs. Stiverne winner will still be in position to fight for the World Boxing Council title at some point in the near future, but it might not take place this year unless Vitali retires.
Vitali likely won’t want to fight Arreola a second time should Arreola defeat Stiverne on March 9th because Vitali easily beat Arreola by a 10th round stoppage in 2009.
Aside from a 6 round draw in April 2009, the hard hitting Stiverne has won 10 out of his last 11 fights in the last six years since being beaten by Demetrice King by a surprise 4th round TKO upset loss in April 2007.
Stiverne has been fighting much better since that defeat and has beaten Kertson Manswell, Ray Austin and Willie Herring in his last three fights. Stiverne hasn’t really tested himself during his 8 year pro career and the fight with Arreola is going to be a big step up from the kinds of guys Stiverne has been facing since he turned pro back in 2005.
Arreola, 31, has been busy since losing to Tomasz Adamek in April 2010. Arreola has won his last seven fights. Arreola only fought once in 2012, beating Eric Molina by a 2nd round stoppage after being staggered by him in the 1st round.
Unless Stiverne lands something really big, Arreola should win this fight. Stiverne can punch but he’s not looked good in a couple of his fights.