Chris Arreola has a lot of respect for Bermane Stiverne, and it came at a price. When the two met in April 2013, Stiverne dominated Arreola over 12 rounds on HBO to become the WBC mandatory challenger in a breakout performance, one that seemed to set Arreola back yet again.
But with their May 10 rematch, Arreola will have a chance to not only avenge the defeat, but to win the now-vacant WBC heavyweight title. His win over Seth Mitchell in September put him in position to rematch Stiverne for the vacant belt, which was given up by Vitali Klitschko late last year.
Arreola says he's hungry for the rematch not just to win and to become the new champ, but to make up for a dreadful performance the first time around:
"I want this rematch not only for the magnitude of this fight but because of the magnitude I got my ass kicked. I watch that fight and I am, like, such a dumbass. I learned to don't get caught. I always have to be alert. I can't be throwing lazy jabs against Stiverne. I have to be on Bermane from round one to 12."
Arreola (36-3, 31 KO) will be fighting for a world title for the second time, after a one-sided beating at the hands of Vitali Klitschko back in 2009, which seems like ages ago at this point. Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KO) is getting his first crack at one of the four major belts, the other three currently held by Wladimir Klitschko, who is also the Ring Magazine champion.
Do you think Arreola will be better, or have you heard this story too many times now?