Boxing‘s first Haitian-born heavyweight champion was crowned tonight when Bermane Stiverne won the vacant WBC title with a sixth-round TKO of Chris Arreola. The title was vacated when former champion Vitali Klitschko retired from the sport to pursue a political career in his home country of Ukraine.
The end came at 2:02 of the sixth round after Arreola had been knocked down twice in the round and referee Jack Reiss called a stop to the bout.
The first knockdown came courtesy of a big right hand from Stiverne, his best punch of the bout, that put Arreola on spaghetti legs before he finally fell to the canvas. Arreola was down again less than 20 seconds later after a flurry of punches from Stiverne following the first knockdown. By this point, Arreola was barely responsive and it didn’t take much following the second knockdown for Reiss to save Arreola from more punishment.
Arreola was rocked at the end of round one from a right hook that followed a left hook that landed. Arreola recovered quickly enough in this case to throw a punch or two before the bell.
Most of this bout was dominated by Arreola who was busier while also landing more punches and more effective punches. While Stiverne was working the jab, Arreola was throwing combinations and landing flurries.
In rounds two and three, Arreola landed a flurry of punches as the final minute to the round began, and then got the better of a slugfest around the middle of round four.
Arreola said after the bout that he believes he broke one of his hands in round four. Something similar happened to Arreola in 2010 against Tomasz Adamek.
An interesting aspect to this bout was that the ring was 17 x 17 feet, smaller than most boxing rings used in professional competition. What this did was guarantee that both fighters would have to throw more, that there would be more action and there would be little chance of a slow-paced bout.
The holder of all other major heavyweight titles, Wladimir Klitschko, did voice his desire to box the winner of this bout in an attempt to become the true undisputed heavyweight champion. A Klitschko/Stiverne bout will likely take place, but not yet and probably not in 2014.
Wladimir’s next bout will likely be against a mandatory challenger with the IBF title on the line.
With this win, Stiverne will now have to defend the WBC title against mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder.
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Photo Credit: ringtv.craveonline.com
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