LOS ANGELES: Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola will square off in a rematch for the vacant World Boxing Council belt when they meet Saturday in the first heavyweight championship bout on US soil since 2009.
“I believe that I am going to bring the excitement back (to the heavyweight division),” Stiverne said.
The heavyweight class is traditionally boxing’s glamour division. But title fights in North America have been rare in recent times because of a lack of serious challengers to the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir.
When Canada’s Stiverne and Arreola step into the ring at the Galen Center arena on the University of Southern California campus they will be fighting for the WBC belt vacated by Vitali in December. Vitali surrendered the title so he could concentrate on his presidential campaign in his native Ukraine.
In September 2009 in Los Angeles, Vitali clobbered Arreola in the last heavyweight title fight in the US. Las Vegas hasn’t hosted a heavyweight title fight since 2006.
The 35-year-old Stiverne, who was born in Haiti but grew up in Montreal, is seeking his second straight win over Arreola. Stiverne won their first fight in April 2013, breaking Arreola’s nose en route to an easy victory. He also knocked Arreola down in the third round.
Arreola vowed to get his revenge at Thursday’s news conference.
“I am going to mess you up. You are going to remember me. This Mexican is going to do it,” who was born in the Los Angeles but considers himself Mexican.
The winner could eventually get a shot at Wladimir Klitschko. He holds the IBF/WBA/WBO belts and the WBC is the only one missing and keeping him from unifying all the titles.