By Rocky Morales
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
The last time #2 WBC heavyweight contender, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, was insulted at a press conference by an opponent, seemingly now missing person Seth Mitchell, it did not end up well for Mitchell who was knocked out in the very first round. So, while WBC #1 contender, Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne, already owns a convincing victory over Arreola and is in a different league than Seth Mitchell, it still came as a bit of a surprise when Stiverne ditched his usually calm and cool composure to go ballistic during his time at the podium of the final press conference at the University of Southern California Galen Center on Thursday afternoon for the highly anticipated rematch with Chris Arreola, this time for all the marbles, the WBC heavyweight championship vacated by Vitali Klitschko.
When Stiverne initially took the podium, he seemed highly emotional and it wasn’t clear if he was going to cry or just say a few soft spoken words and return to his seat. Instead, however, Stiverne almost immediately ripped into Arreola, taking Arreola to task for words spoken by Arreola at the kickoff press conference in late March. At that press conference, Arreola said, in so many words, that Stiverne was incompetent for not finishing him off despite Arreola’s nose being broken early in the bout.
Stiverne also seemed annoyed by the presence of WBC mandatory challenger, Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder being in attendance and occasionally looked his direction while up at the podium.
“I had a terrific camp, an extraordinary camp and did things I didn’t even know I could do. Let other people talk and let the media talk even they talk shit. What do they know, they’ve never fought?”, said Stiverne just before launching into his tirade against Arreola.
Speaking of the first fight and why he didn’t knock him out, Stiverne said to Arreola, “That was the plan, to whoop your ass but this fight I’m going to drop you and then you’re going to get up and then I’m going to knock you out! I swear to God, you know what’s going to happen” said Stiverne with even more intensity than Clubber Lang (Mr. T) could muster up for Rocky Balboa and the heavily muscled Stiverne looked even more fearsome than Clubber Lang while saying it.
Stiverne growled to Arreola, “Stare at me with that silly face, I’m going to take your head off”, while slamming his fist repeatedly on the podium, leaving those in press row to wonder how much abuse a podium could take before crumbling.
“Lose weight, nothing you do matters. You don’t have the skills I got and nothing will help you. I’m for real and nobody is going to beat me!” concluded Stiverne, while giving a hard look to each Arreola and mandatory challenger Wilder in the audience.
There were the usual introductions before Stiverne spoke of his team, after Stiverne spoke introductions of Arreola’s team, the misplaced efforts to speak of gender equality for females which has taken on a weird theme in the pre-fight promotion, and the usual ranting poetics of Don King bantering with co-promoter Dan Goosen, King quoting Shakespeare, American Presidents, religious and civil rights leaders and anyone else he could prey upon. But, none of that really mattered as all that really mattered was getting through the shuffle to Chris Arreola to hear his response to Stiverne.
Arreola did not disappoint with his fiery response and faced Stiverne for almost the entirety of his response.
“I’ll f*** you up!” shouted Arreola to Stiverne. “I ain’t scared of you, nobody’s scared of you, bro! You’re going to remember me, dog!”
“I’m going to f*** this guy up. F*** this guy! Now he’s yapping? Before I had respect for him when he was quiet. He was a quiet dude, but now I’m going to f*** him up!” said an apparently until then sleeping dog, Arreola.
“This Saturday you’re going to watch a great fight and history in the making, made by me, not by that Haitian but by this Mexican, I promise you that. This Mexican is going to do it!” concluded Arreola.
The especially now misnamed fight “The Fight For Peace, Stiverne vs. Arreola II, Heavyweight History” for the vacant WBC heavyweight championship takes place this Saturday night at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on ESPN, with the telecast beginning at 5pm PST / 8pm EST.