By CARLOS ARIAS
LOS ANGELES --- When Bermane Stiverne watched Buster Douglas upset over Mike Tyson in 1990, he knew he was going to be a boxer one day.
He became a world champion on Saturday after scoring a brutal sixth-round knockout over Chris Arreola to claim the vacant WBC heavyweight title.
"I'm living my dream," Stiverne said. "This has been my dream since Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson. I remember I was fifth grade or sixth grade and I was so mad. I was really mad that Tyson lost the fight. I always told myself I was going to be a boxer, so I could beat Buster Douglas."
Stiverne said he felt like he was in a haze at the post-fight news conference.
"To be honest, I really don't know what's going on," Stiverne said. "I know I got the belt. It's not ... you know how when you take drugs and the effects are not there. I don't know what's going on right now. I'm grateful to God. I'm grateful to everybody that supported me. Everybody back home, I'm thankful for everybody."
Stiverne was born in Haiti, grew up in Montreal, Canada, and has lived in Las Vegas for the past decade. Which country does he identify with most?
"At this point, I like to represent the people," Stiverne said. "There's about 100 or something flags on the belt, so I really care about representing the people right now despite where I was born or where I'm living right now."
Stiverne said he knew there would be a lot of Mexican fans in the arena to support Arreola, who was trying to become the first Mexican to win a heavyweight world title.
"Hopefully, we can do this one more time with ESPN," Stiverne said. "I think it was a great show. The people showed up for the fight. There was a lot of Mexican fans. I knew I was coming to California and there was a lot of Mexicans. When they announced Chris, I was like , 'Damn! Whoa! This is worse than when he fought in Ontario.' They came out to support Chris, support boxing. I was able to put on a show tonight. I'm hoping the fans liked it and hoping this isn't the last time on ESPN. I'm really, really proud and honored to be the one that bring the belt back to America."
Stiverne admitted he did have some doubts about becoming a world champion one day, but he kept pushing.
"I had a dream to be a world champion, but to me it was impossible," Stiverne said. "I still kept going and going and going, knowing it was impossible. I just kept going. I never stopped. I just continued. I gues that's what you call faith."
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Tags: Bermane Stiverne