By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Goossen Tutor & Big Joe Miranda
The heavyweight division will be the center of attention for the boxing world tonight as WBC #1 contender Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KO’s) will take on WBC #2 rated Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-3, 31 KO’s) in a rematch for the vacant WBC heavyweight title live on ESPN. If the fire we saw at the final press conference is any indication, the “so called ‘Fight for Peace’ will be anything but.
“There is passion and emotion from the verbal exchange we saw with these two,” Stiverne’s Hall of Fame promoter Don King told Fightnews.com. “It’s going to be a war, a war of words, war of bones and mind.”
Arreola’s promoter Dan Goossen told us, “We’re in for a great heavyweight fight with the big boys of boxing. It’s what the fans have wanted. Stiverne-Arreola is a can’t miss bar room brawl!”
Of all things, why is this fight called the ‘Fight for Peace?’ The name is meant to pay tribute to former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. “This is a fight for peace and it’s truly going to shed light in the heavyweight division. You have to admire what Vitali has done, giving up his title to go and fight for peace in his country,” explained King.
With the Klitschko Brothers fighting mostly in Europe, the American audience has by and large lost interest in the heavyweight division. Tonight’s fight will be the first heavyweight title fight in Los Angeles and in the U.S since 2009, when Vitali Klitschko defended his WBC title with a tenth round stoppage of Arreola, just down the street at the Staples Center. Vitali vs. Corrie Sanders (2004) and Vitali vs. Lennox Lewis (2003) also took place in L.A.
Either way, tonight’s fight will make boxing history. Stiverne is looking to become the first Haitian to win the heavyweight title. Arreola is looking to be the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win it.
“The heavyweights lost the magic of Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and Mike Tyson,” King said. “This is what we want. To give back to the people of America. The heavyweight champ is back!”
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