By Keith Idec
Chris Arreola doesn’t know when or where he’ll box Bermane Stiverne again, but that hasn’t stopped the heavyweight contender from beginning to prepare for their WBC-mandated championship rematch.
“I’m working my [butt] off,” Arreola told BoxingScene.com following a training session this week in his native Riverside, Calif. “I want to make sure when we get this call, we get to camp already ready. I don’t want to go into it unprepared. I want to make sure that this is the best Chris Arreola people can get. I’m holding myself accountable. I have to be responsible about everything.”
Arreola’s preparation problems have previously prevented the talented, hard-hitting heavyweight from reaching his potential. The serious approach he took to training for his last fight, a first-round knockout of Seth Mitchell (26-2-1, 19 KOs) on Sept. 7, finally made Arreola realize he must fully commit to training.
The WBC will schedule a purse bid for the Stiverne-Arreola heavyweight title fight if Dan Goossen, whose company promotes Arreola, and Don King, whose company promotes Stiverne, can’t come to a contractual agreement by Jan. 17. The 35-year-old Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs), a Montreal resident raised in Haiti, is the WBC’s No. 1 contender. The 32-year-old Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) is ranked No. 2 by the WBC.
Stiverne, who beat Arreola by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight April 27 in Ontario, Calif., and Arreola will fight again for the WBC title because former champion Vitali Klitschko vacated it to pursue political aspirations in his native Ukraine.
Goossen said he would like to promote the Stiverne-Arreola rematch either in the Southern California region, where Arreola has a strong fan base, Las Vegas or New York. Arreola would “love” to fight for the WBC title in the Los Angeles area, but is much more concerned with avenging his loss to Stiverne, who broke Arreola’s nose in the third round of their first fight and won comfortably on points.
“Honestly, I’m a boxer,” Arreola said. “My job is just to be ready for a fight, man. I really don’t care about the purse bid and how much I’m getting paid. What matters is to get that strap and get my revenge in the rematch against Stiverne. I hate that loss. I hate every loss, but at least I get the chance to redeem myself.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. Tags: Chris Arreola , Bermane Stiverne , Arreola-Stiverne , Arreola vs Stiverne