By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) won an all out war against Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) to capture the vacant WBC heavyweight championship. The two went to war in the third and fourth rounds with Arreola getting the better of Stiverne but the tides changed in the fifth round as Stiverne put on a boxing clinic and Arreola seemed to tire. In the sixth round, Stiverne dropped Arreola hard with a right hand and Arreola barely beat the count only to be dropped again. Stiverne went in for the kill and with Arreola defenseless and taking bombs, referee Jack Reiss waived off the bout to at 2:02 of the sixth round.
At the time of the stoppage, judges Max Deluca and Robert Tapper scored the bout 48-47 for Arreola and Jerry Roth had it 48-47 for Stiverne, who not only wins the WBC heavyweight championship but also becomes the first man to knock out the granite chinned Arreola. Mandatory WBC challenger for Stiverne, Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) may be next for Stiverne.
Stiverne becomes the first Haitian-born heavyweight champion. After the fight, Stiverne said the plan was let Arreola get comfortable, “then crack him.” Stiverne’s promoter Don King once again controls part of the heavyweight championship.
In semi-main event action, junior welterweight Amir “Young Master” Imam (14-0, 12KO) won a closely contested 8 round unanimous decision over solid 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist from Cuba, Yordenis Ugas (15-3, 7KO). Imam and Ugas boxed evenly for most of the bout but by the final round, Imam had all the momentum going and finished strong to cement his victory. There were no knockdowns in the bout. Judges scored the bout 79-73, 78-74, and 78-74 in favor of Imam, although it seemed to be a closer fight than the official scores suggested.
Cruiserweight BJ Flores (29-1-1, 19 KOs) made quick work of overmatched Adam Collins (12-10, 8 KOs) dropping him for the 10 count with a 1-2 combo. The end came at 1:58 of the first round, allowing Flores to further pad his record.
Romanian 6’7″, 269 pound, heavyweight, Razvan Cojanu (10-1, 5KO) had his hands full with game challenger, Rodricka Ray (5-7-1, 2KO) despite outweighing Ray by 52 pounds and towering over him. Cojanu unleashed an arsenal at Ray in the second round but Ray weathered the storm. Cojanu finally dropped Ray in the fifth round with a hard body shot and followed up with a barrage of connecting punches that forced the referee to stop the bout at 2:51 of the fifth round.
Debuting middleweight Caleb Hunter Plant (1-0, 1 KOs) made short work of Travis Davidson (2-3, 2 KOs), dropping him hard against the ropes with a solid lead right cross. The referee waived off the bout after reaching the count of four as Davidson was in no position to continue. Time of the stoppage was 0:47 of the first round.
In a snoozer of a four round featherweight bout, Mario Barrios (4-0, 1KO) won a four round unamious decision over Puerto Rican fighter, Jaxel Marrero (1-3-1). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Barrios.