Tonight at 8:00 pm EDT on ESPN, Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola meet to finally determine a successor to Vitali Klitschko as WBC heavyweight champion, as the vacant title is on the line in Los Angeles for their rematch.
Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KO) dominated Arreola (36-3, 31 KO) in April of last year in a fight that figured to give us Klitschko's next challenger. But Vitali, who last fought in September 2012, never fought again, and was "promoted" to champion emeritus late last year, as he is focused on his political career in Ukraine, and has said he's likely done boxing.
Arreola followed that loss with a KO-1 win over Seth Mitchell in September, while Stiverne has not fought since the first bout. Arreola has vowed to be better and more focused than he was the first time around, and the hard-punching brawler should not be counted out, but nor should the one-sided win Stiverne posted last year. It's a good fight on paper, and should contain more action than ESPN's other recent heavyweight fight, Wladimir Klitschko's easy win over Alex Leapai.
In the televised co-feature, 23-year-old junior welterweight prospect Amir Imam will face Cuba's Yordenis Ugas in an eight-round bout. Imam (13-0, 12 KO) is a Don King fighter, while Ugas (15-2, 7 KO) was once a touted prospect whose fortunes changed in a ShoBox loss to Johnny Garcia in March 2012. Proving that may have been no fluke, Ugas lost his last bout to Emmanuel Robles, and now the 27-year-old is being set up as an opponent for Imam.
BLH will have live coverage tonight. Join us!