Los Angeles – Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne promised fans an early night on Saturday at USC’s Galen Center. Twelve rounds or less bout for WBC heavyweight championship was televised by ESPN, a network that needed the fight to end early to make room for NBA play offs. They didn’t disappoint. Bermaine Stiverne (24-1-1,21KO’S) stopped Chris Arreola (36-4,31KO’S0) at 2:02 of the sixth round putting exclamation point to a thrilling heavyweight championship slugfest. Stiverne made history by becoming the first ever heavyweight champion of Haitian descent while earning much coveted green WBC belt. Arreola said he would probably cry after winning a title, but it was Stiverne who fell on the canvas and wept big happy tears. “Yes, because I studied his tapes. I watched my opponent, “said Stiverne after the fight: “And I knew I could knock him out. The plan was to get him comfortable and as soon as he get real comfortable crack him. And that’s what I did. It was the same right hand I dropped him in the first fight.”
Arreola got rocked at the end of the first, a round filled with intensity, anxiety and competitive back and forth action. He returned the favor in the second trapping Stiverne on the ropes and landing a right that buckled legs of Haitian fighter. Arreola continued to press the action in the third and got the crowd on its feet and Stiverne in trouble. Stiverne did better in the fourth and fifth keeping himself off the ropes and countering effectively behind a sharp jab. Arreola went on to offence in the sixth stanza and got caught with an overhand right on the temple that short circuited his senses. East LA brawler went down as if there was no ground underneath him. Miraculously he beat the count on shaky legs. Stiverne went for the kill and dropped Arreola again. Arreola who completely forgot to hold got up again, but looked completely out of it. Referee Jack Reese allowed the fight to continue, but stopped it shortly as Chris did not look like he could defend himself.
“I am devastated, “said Arreola who was winning the fight on two of the judges’ score cards prior to the stoppage:” I felt like I was winning the fight. He just got me with the same right hand. What can I do? Nothing but to tip my hat off to him.”