Stiverne vs Arreola, The Recap.
Will The Real Stiverne Please Stand Up.
Much like Rap music culture, in boxing things can get a little heated between adversaries in the war of words before the real battle in the ring. Sure, it sells tickets and albums – and many of us get a voyeuristic kick of out the guilty pleasure of the prickly exercise. However, despite the tried and true manner of this time honored ritual, sometimes to coin an iconic phrase from BAD BOYS, arguably one of the most important popular movies in any true ghetto superstar’s cinematic lexicon, shit just got real.
Such seemed to be the case in the dramatically bombastic display of BERMANE STIVERNE (24-1-1, 21KO’s) at the last official media conference before the ARREOLA vs. STIVERNE contest that took place last week at USC’s GALEN center. CHRIS ARREOLA (36-4, 31KO’s) has always been a passionate guy, especially with the possibility of realizing his dream of becoming the first Mexican Heavyweight Champion. Add that Arreola is never one to hold back words or a punch when it comes to boxing, and no one was surprised by his usual brand of uncensored trash talk. However not so with the normally almost devoutly reticent Bermane Stiverne. Yes, Stiverne had some firsts on the line also – namely becoming the first Haitian born WBC Heavyweight Champion. But given the quiet guy he had always been before, when he broke character and started cracking vicious wise on the podium, everyone stopped to listen. Even Dan Goossen branded the diatribe a trip to the Twilight Zone, while Don King was all beaming sweet fatherly pride. However, given the real departure that the display was for Stiverne, it stood to reason that perhaps a chord has been struck or some deviously slick mental game was being dropped on all in attendance with a bull’s eye on Chris Arreola. In a performance that included banging the podium and ripping off his sunglasses for emphasis, Stiverne truly came out of his shell in calling out what he viewed to be the overwhelmingly pro Arreola media and then his opponent Arreola. Proclaiming himself as the real deal, Stiverne let Arreola know that the manner in which he won their first fight without a KO was by design and subsequently this time Arreola would find himself not only “whupped” again but face down on the canvas.
STIVERNE: Ain’t nobody gonna beat me… I don’t talk. I talk in the ring. I let the media talk even when they talk shit…. if he thinks for one minute that I couldn’t knock you out last fight you are wrong and so wrong. This fight, I’m gonna drop you. You gonna get up. I’m gonna whup you, then I’m gonna knock you out. You can have that silly face that you’ve got right now. That don’t matter. In the back of your mind you know. You know, I swear to God you know! ( hits the podium)… You can be in shape all you want it don’t matter.… Nothing will help you…. Think about that tonight when you are alone. Cause I’m for real.
As God was his witness, right? Yikes!
Seeing such a sea change in Stiverne’s address to the press and public, it begged the natural question as to whether Stiverne’s vitriol was mental organization or the mental breakdown that occurs when an opponent truly gets under a fighter’s skin and destroys him for battle. But during the fight, Bermane executed the fight plan that he and Don House had put together brick by brick during a great training camp in Las Vegas, blowing down the championship dreams of Arreola with a sixth round TKO. Arreola was knocked down, got up and was knocked down again and allowed to stand briefly before it was called a TKO for Stiverne in Arreola’s own backyard. As such, the proof was in the pudding for Stiverne and one must deduce that Bermane knew exactly what he was doing at all times.
Post fight, Stiverne returned back to his usual deferential style with the media as well as with Arreola. Quick to exhaustively thank all those who had supported him and those in his team who he pointed out were more friends than business associates, Bermane was extremely generous to Chris Arreola. Respectful of Arreola’s talents, Stiverne admitted that it was only his obsessive study of Arreola’s mistakes in past fights that allowed him to win the night over a very good competitor.
STIVERNE: I prevailed because I obviously did my homework…. I really want to thank Chris…Chris is a bad man. I just beat Chris because I was smarter… Chris is a true warrior… anything you want man, I got your back.
Chris Arreola, true to form was also gracious to the newly crowned Haitian champ, not scrimping on giving credit where credit was due.
ARREOLA: All credit to Bermane. That’s that same right hand that broke my nose the last time and this time he was able to finish it off because it was early in the round. Once again all credit to Bermane and his camp.
However, in digging a little deeper and asking if his newly expressed respect for Arreola could lead to friendship ala a Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti, the answer would seem to be no for the present. While Stiverne freely admits that he has heard good things about Arreola, he isn’t quite ready to wade that far into the gulf that exists between two men who have experienced each other’s best in the confines of the ring. The most Stiverne would offer in this regard was the following:
STIVERNE: I mean, I would like to see him do good. Why not?
So who is the real Bermane Stiverne? The humble student of the sweet science or an acid tongued warrior of deadly intent inside and outside the ring? Only time will tell.
May 16th, 2014
Chris Arreola talks to reporters during the post fight press conference.
Bermane Stiverne talks whyufight.com about his WBC Heavyweight World Title KO6 win over Chris Arreola.
Chris Arreola answers questions from reporters after his WBC World Title loss.
Don King talks whyufight.com about his new WBC Heavyweight World Champion Bermane Stiverne