In what was easily one the best heavyweight fights shown on American premium cable in recent years, Bermane Stiverne earned a unanimous decision over Chris Arreola to receive an eventual shot at the WBC heavyweight title. The official scores were 118-109 and 117-110 (twice) all for Stiverne. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-111, also for Stiverne.
Arreola appeared to edge the first two stanzas before being dropped hard at the end of the third round by a huge right cross. The punch drew blood from Arreola's nose as well, possibly even breaking it and making it difficult for him to breathe as the rounds passed by.
The remaining rounds were largely controlled by Stiverne's jab and hard hooks to Arreola's still flabby midsection. The two had some truly hellacious exchanges at times, and the final round was dramatic as Arreola desperately tried to land the big blow needed to end the fight. Alas, he could not get it done, and Stiverne took home a deserved decision victory.
The loss is certainly a bit of a setback for Arreola, who, though exciting, is clearly limited as to what he is capable of in the ring. He appears to be someone that struggles to get over the hump when facing other top contenders.
The bout is definitely worth checking out at some point. It won't be a Fight of the Year candidate or anything, but if you like heavyweight slugfests, you're sure to like this fight.