Boxing fans have waited a long time for this, almost as long as Bermane Stiverne. On May 10th he will take part in a historic heavyweight fight that will see either boxing’s first Haitian born heavyweight champion or boxing’s first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. Regardless of who wins, it will be the first time in awhile that someone not named “Klitschko” will be holding a belt for one of the major sanctioning organizations.
For Stiverne, a lifetime dream is about to come true. All he has to do is repeat the performance he pulled off back in April of last year. All he has to do is beat Chris Arreola.
“We pretty much trained the same way we did for the last camp,” Stiverne told FightNews. “(Which is) do what we did even better. I’m actually doing better than we did the last time. I’m in great position mentally and physically. I feel better. I’ve been doing all the work. I know what I needed last year. I’m doing the same from last camp and doing a little bit more and I’m doing it better.”
No,” Stiverne said when asked if there was anything he was planning on adjusting in regards to his fight plan. “It’s up to Arreola. It’s really up to him. I believe that he’s going to bring the best out of me for this fight.”
The buzz is already setting the sport on fire, where boxing fans are excited about something that hasn’t been seen this century: a truly explosive heavyweight championship fight. With Arreola and Stiverne both considered two of the hardest punchers in the ring, there is already talk of this fight rivaling the old school heavyweight wars of the 70s, with comparisons to George Foreman-Ron Lyle being passed around.
“Definitely,” Stiverne said when asked if he expected a war. “Everyone knows what Arreola brings to the table.”
For Stiverne, the distractions leading up to this fight were momentous. After thinking he would be fighting Vitali Klitschko for the title he saw his title fight pushed back time and time again, only to disappear completely.
Now, with his fight against Arreola close to becoming a reality, another Klitschko is stealing some of the limelight. Wladimir Klitschko has already come out an indicated a desire to fight the winner, a move that Stiverne has refused to let distract him.
“Klitschko is out of my mind right now,” Stiverne said. “I’m not interested in what he had to say or anything about him. I didn’t even watch the fight last week. I’m only focused on getting that green belt.”
The hard punching bomber dismisses claims from Arreola that poor training was the major deciding factor in the last fight, and that Arreola’s new found dedication will turn things around.
Stiverne disregards Arreola’s explanation for his loss.
“I don’t have anything to say,” Stiverne said when told of Arreola’s claim. “It’s all excuses to me. Last I checked, I thought we were professional athletes. I can’t speak for anyone around his camp, but that’s not my problem. I’m not concerned with if he will be coming in shape or not because it wont make any difference.”
Stiverne is certain of one thing: On May 10th the fight will end in a knockout.
“This fight is not going the distance. I can guarantee that. I can’t tell you what round, but its not going the distance.”