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Stiverne Subdues Arreola by Steve Kim

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)

By Steve Kim


For five rounds Chris Arreola made good on his promise on his improvement versus Bermane Stiverne in their rematch at the Galen Center on the campus at USC. Last year Stiverne had soundly defeated Arreola over twelve rounds at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, this time around the stakes were much higher as they were fighting for the vacant WBC heavyweight crown.
 
Once again, it was Stiverne’s quick right hand - which floored Arreola last year and turned the tide of that meeting -- that was Arreola’s downfall. Up till then, Arreola had pressured Stiverne effectively, especially when he walked in behind his jab. But in the six, an overhand right that Arreola never saw coming hit him on the temple, which wobbled ’the Nightmare’ and sent him down to the canvas.

It was the beginning of the end.
 
After referee Jack Reiss gave the mandatory eight, the normally measured Stiverne came back with another barrage of punches that scored another knockdown of Arreola. The announced crowd of 3,992 understood at this point that the chance of Arreola becoming the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion were quickly dissipating. Arreola gamely got up and was allowed to continue but was met with another torrent of punches and Reiss had no choice but to call the fight off at 2:02 of the round.
 
At the time of the stoppage, two judges had Arreola up by the score of 48-47.
 
"I’m devastated, man.  I came here to win.  He got me with the same right hand and that’s all she wrote.  I believe the fight was stopped a little too soon but I respect the ref’s decision.  I busted my hand in the fourth round. He has a hard head.  My jab was better this time.  I’m back and I will be back in the ring again in even better shape," said a disappointed, Arreola.
 
For the 35-year old Stiverne, who basically kept Don King in business, it’s a watershed victory.
 
"I studied his tapes.  I knew I could knock him out.  He bust my lip but he never hurt me.  I was patient.  When he got too comfortable I landed that shot.  I knew I could knock him out.  Shout out to Haiti.  Next? Who cares right now.  I’m the world champion!" 


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