By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Big Joe Miranda
Top rated heavyweight contender Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) of Riverside, California is ready to get a crack once again at top contender Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs), of Miami by way of Haiti. Arreola will get his shot at redemption in a rematch Saturday May 10 at the Galen Center on the campus of the USC in Los Angeles live on ESPN. We caught up with the “Nightmare” at the Bashor Lounge at Heritage Hall on the campus of USC at the kickoff press conference officially announcing the fight.
“We are fighting at USC as a kid I always wanted to play football here but now I will box at USC in front of an LA crowd,” Chris Arreola told Fightnews.com
“The Nightmare” will head off to training camp as he will be training in San Diego with his longtime trainer Henry Ramirez. Staying home to train has been Arreola’s biggest weakness. He trained in Phoenix for his last fight coming in to the fight in top shape and making a statement.
“The main thing I am concerned with him is being in tip top shape. We have to get him away from home the first fight was a training camp at home,” Arreola’s trainer Henry Ramirez told Fightnews.com
“The main thing is to get out of the norm. I am my own worst enemy. That’s my problem. Getting away from my comfort zone is the main thing. I don’t know much about San Diego other than they have the Padres and my Dodgers are going to beat them,” Chris Arreola said about his upcoming camp.
Arreola is coming off a huge first round knockout over Seth Mitchell in his last fight in September.
“The Seth Mitchell fight I did what I was supposed to do and I proved it,” Arreola said.
Prior to that Arreola suffered a unanimous decision loss to Bermaine Stiverne last year in April in a WBC eliminator. In that fight Arreola was knocked down early in the third round and suffered a broken nose. Now Arreola looks to get revenge and redeem himself in the rematch against his Haitian nemisis.
“This rematch is very important to me. Every fight I’ve lost, I’ve hated it. I always wanted to get my rematch of Tomasz Adamek, but I got to move on to bigger, better things. Bermane Stiverne. I want this rematch not only for the magnitude of this fight but because of the magnitude I got my ass kicked. I watch that fight and I am like such a dumb ass. I learned to don’t get caught. I always have to be alert. I can’t be throwing lazy jabs against Stiverne. I have to be on Bermane from round 1 to 12,” Arreola stated.
Stiverne has not stepped foot in the ring since he defeated Arreola last year in Arreola’s backyard. With the win, he became Vitali Klitschko’s mandatory as the WBC number one contender. However, with Klitschko’s decision to retire and pursue a career in politics, the WBC title became vacant. So Stiverne, rated number one by the WBC and Arreola rated number two will fight again for the WBC heavyweight title. The fight has been billed as “The Fight for Peace”.
“He is a great boxer and puncher with great amateur experience. I have to stay on him and by applying pressure there’ll be a difference,” Arreola said.
Trainer Henry Ramirez added, “Stiverne is a good boxer. He can punch. We will work on cutting the ring and working on that straight jab. We expect a victory.”
This will be Arreola’s second shot at a world title as he was stopped by Vitali Klitschko in eleven rounds back in 2009 at the Staples Center.
“I still remember that night when I fought Vitali Klitschko. I did everything I could. Now I’ll look to win that title in my second opportunity,” The Nightmare Arreola will look to make a statement on prime time TV in front of a huge ESPN audience that dwarfs the viewership of HBO and Showtime.
“It’s a big thing a huge thing. I want to make sure with my fight I put boxing back on the forefront on TV like it used to be. I remember watching on channel 7 (ABC) and 11 (FOX). They still have it in Spanish. I want to make sure that I bring back more championship fights,” Arreola said about fighting on ESPN.
Arreola will attempt to become the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win a world title. The late former WBC president Jose Sulaiman always dreamed of a Mexican heavyweight champion and on May 10 Arreola will get his shot at history.
“It’s an honor to win that title. I will be in the books. It’s a privilege to carry my Mexican heritage on my back. Don’t get me wrong I love being American but my Mexican blood is what makes me come out to that bell,” Arreola said “You will see a nightmare May 10. I will be a nightmare for Stiverne the night of the fight. I respect judges but I am going for the knockout,” Arreola concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla