The WBC heavyweight championship rematch between top-rated world contenders, Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola taking place on May 10 at the USC Galen Center in downtown Los Angeles will be billed as “Fight for Peace.” Hall of Fame Promoter Don King of Don King Productions and Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions made the announcement jointly today.
“ESPN is in it to win it…and ‘win’ in it they have…hitting a grand slam home run in public opinion in welcoming the prodigal son of the sport of boxing – The WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World Title Event back to America – Halleluiah!” said the ever-enthusiastic Don King, promoter of Bermane Stiverne.
“Fight for Peace” was chosen as an international tribute to the fight for the title previously held by longtime champion Vitali Klitschko who stepped away from boxing officially in December 2013 to focus on the 2014 Ukrainian Presidential Election where he is seeking to become the country’s leader.
“Vitali was a great champion, in and out of the ring, and the winner of this fight will have big shoes to fill wearing the green belt around their waist,” said Dan Goossen promoter of Arreola. “Chris will definitely be going into this fight with his back against the wall. It’s that type of do-or-die situation I believe when he’s the most motivated and dangerous. To top off this history making, and what is sure to be great event, is ESPN’s participation, the home to all major sporting events, putting additional broadcast significance to this Heavyweight World Championship fight.”
Stiverne and Arreola previously battled on April 27, 2013 in Ontario, California, with the Florida resident winning a 12-round unanimous decision over the Southern California based Mexican-American who fought valiantly through a knockdown and broken nose, both suffered in the third round.
The flamboyant King went on to say, “Bermane Stiverne vs. Chris Arreola fighting for the most coveted crowning ceremony in the world of sports scheduled to take place on May 10, 2014 – as Heavyweights go…so goes boxing! Never has that saying had more relevance than now.” “Needless to say there is great joy in the land of fisticuffs creating great excitement for boxing fans around the world who will celebrate this homecoming with bated breath and great anticipation awaiting the destiny of this fantastic rematch: Stiverne vs. Arreola for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World broadcast exclusively via ESPN.”
The move by ESPN to telecast the Stiverne-Arreola Championship bout is unprecedented and in recent years heavyweight title bouts have been broadcast primarily on premium cable channels or pay-per-view.
“For nearly 35 years, ESPN has been the premier destination for sports fans,” Goossen said. “We’re thrilled to work with their team to allow sports fans around the world the opportunity to watch a World Heavyweight Championship on what is the undisputed Worldwide Leader in Sports.”
“Fight for Peace” exemplifies the obstacles both Stiverne and Arreola have climbed to be in position to do what no other person of their descent have done in the 100-plus years of our sport. With a victory, Stiverne would become the first Haitian to win the Heavyweight World Championship. And for Arreola, with all the great Mexican champions throughout the history of boxing, none have ever held the most prestigious belt of them all. History will be made on this night.
“ESPN has a long history of carrying world class boxing events, but this certainly ranks up there with the best that we’ve televised,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. “Dan Goossen and Don King deserve credit for having the vision to distribute this potentially historical match to as many households as possible and we are thrilled to be televising the fight.”
Assistant Athletic Director and General Manager of USC Galen Center, Carl Reed added, “We are very excited to be part of the historic Heavyweight World Championship match between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola. We have hosted numerous national and international events; this Heavyweight Championship fight will deliver the knockout blow that will set the USC Galen Center apart from all other venues. I look forward to working with both promoters, Don King and Dan Goossen in ensuring this is a fight for the ages!”
With a record of 23-1-1 (20 KO’s), the hard-hitting Stiverne, originally from La Plaine, Haiti and now living in Miami, Florida is currently world ranked as the #1 contender in the WBC heavyweight rankings.
“The only thing I’m thinking about right now is putting my hands on that title. As a matter of fact, to me, I’m going to the ring like I’m defending my title. This title is mine. It’s my title, you know what I’m saying; they just didn’t give it to me yet. I’m going in there to defend my title. I feel like I’m ready already. I feel great. I look great and I just can’t wait man. I can’t wait to make history, so everybody lookout for that fight. It’s gonna’ be a fantastic performance and a lot of pain and a knockout,” stated top heavyweight contender Bermane Stiverne, who talked about his anticipated rematch with Chris Arreola and his own desire to be crowned the new WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Stiverne’s trainer, Don House added, “I’ve evaluated this fight and we have been going at this like Bermane hasn’t fought Arreola before, as if everything is brand new. Can Arreola bring anything into this fight differently? No. He may come to fight in the best shape of his life but he doesn’t have the skills to beat Bermane. He doesn’t have the power or speed that Bermane does. Arreola will be right there, Bermane won’t have to look for him, and Bermane will be ready to fight 12 rounds.”
Ranked the #2 heavyweight by the WBC, Arreola, 36-3-0 (31 KO’s), returned to action following the disappointing loss to Stiverne with a devastating first round stoppage of top contender Seth Mitchell on September 7, 2013 in Indio, California.
“I’m very excited about fighting for the WBC Title once again and having it seen on my favorite television network ESPN. I have a great opportunity to get my revenge against Stiverne and make history in one night and I plan to deliver,” stated Arreola.
Henry Ramirez, trainer of Arreola said, “Not too many times do you get a chance to right a wrong, and on May 10 Chris will have his chance to do just that with everything on the line. I know we have a tough task but I have zero doubt Chris Arreola will be the WBC World Heavyweight Champion and first ever of Mexican descent to hold such title.”
“Fight for Peace” from the USC Galen Center in Downtown Los Angeles will be exclusively televised Live on Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN. Tickets priced at $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25 (plus customary fees) will go on sale shortly.
King, the Hall of Fame promoter concluded, “This is a must see and you cannot afford to miss it. You just have to be there, and you can be there, live and in living color with the movie stars, the sports stars, celebrities, dignitaries and world leaders on the scene with the crowd going wild – this is history in the making. Or, you can enjoy the thrilling cheers of excitement at your own house party… in your living room watching the provocatively spectacular TV broadcast on ESPN with friends and neighbors. What a super coup this is for ESPN…seizing the time and grasping the opportunity to reestablish the sport of boxing. Give the people what they want and they will respond with the magical question – When is the next one? ESPN has done just that – give the people what they want using indomitable courage, business genius and visionary ingenuity to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. BY ESPN’s televising boxing’s redemption, it gives the sweet science a return to glory from its fall from grace. But more importantly, it is the “Fight for Peace” symbolizing the essence of America’s creed- freedom, justice, equality, liberty, and peace which makes all American’s proud, happy and extremely grateful. Thank you ESPN.”