Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Stiverne-Arreola/Nietes-Fuentes: Post Report Cards

by Cliff Rold

Boxing fans had a good Saturday night.  Whether they watched just one major main event, or the other, or both, it was a good night.

For those who watched both, it was a great night.  The Heavyweight rematch between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola, and the Jr. Flyweight rematch between Donnie Nietes and Moises Fuentes, both delivered everything fans can ask for.

They were fun.  They were competitive.  They were better than their original.  The outcomes were indisputable.  

Let’s go to the report cards.

Grades

Pre-Fight: Speed – Stiverne B+; Arreola C+/Post: A-/C+ 

Pre-Fight: Power – Stiverne A-; Arreola A-/Post: A; B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Stiverne B; Arreola C/Post: B+; C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Stiverne B; Arreola B/Post: B+; B

Pre-Fight: Speed – Nietes B; Fuentes C+/Post: B+; B- 

Pre-Fight: Power – Nietes B; Fuentes B/Post: B+; B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Nietes B+; Fuentes C+/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Nietes B+; Fuentes B+/Post A; B+

Starting with the smaller men, it’s time to recognize how good Nietes has become.  This is a fighter, in his prime, who has really put his whole game together.  His ability to finish exchanges on Saturday made all the difference against a Fuentes who has also improved dramatically from even his first title win.  Fuentes has sharpened his game since career advancing wins over Raul Garcia and Ivan Calderon.

Against Nietes, Fuentes was hard and crisp to the body.  He had a good strategy.  It just came undone when Nietes really started to solve him in the seventh.  The closing assault in round nine, including a highlight reel right hand for the third and final knockdown, was a veteran showing mastery of the close.  He closed strong in the first fight as well but he left no doubt this time. 

Nietes is often overlooked among the better Filipino fighters but his success merits recognition.  Nietes made some noise about moving up to face someone at Flyweight and if he chooses to do so, he’d make a great division even better. 

Fuentes has nothing to hang his head over.  He was beaten by the better man but if he continues to grow as a fighter as much as he has in recent fights, he will remain a factor in the title hunt at 108 lbs.

The opposite is the case for the defeated at Heavyweight.  It’s time to be honest about Chris Arreola.  It’s not just the weight.  It’s not just the focus.

It’s just that he isn’t good enough.

Arreola, arriving in what is better shape for him, had a good strategy for the first three rounds.  He survived almost getting blasted out in the first and stayed on his game.  The third round was great for Arreola.  Round four was ultimately, though, where the fight began to get away.  Stiverne started using his feet more and Arreola started to slow down.  His assaults were getting farther apart and Stiverne, who might have the quickest hands at Heavyweight right now, assumed command as ring general fully in the fifth.

In the sixth, Stiverne finished what he started last year.  He now has a WBC belt and chances for big money down the road.  His promoter, Don King, has been around long enough to probably get him an exception to make a payday defense before showdowns with Deontay Wilder, Wladimir Klitschko, or both later this year and into next.

Stiverne still isn’t what one would call deeply tested.  His best wins are Ray Austin and Arreola, neither of whom should have been objectively considered a top ten Heavyweight when he beat them.  Still, his speed and power are clear as day.  If he catches anyone, they can go.  He’s shown patience in setting up his offense, growing ring IQ, and personality.

He’s a welcome addition to the field of contenders to the throne of Klitschko.  He and Wilder, if that’s the first big date, is going to be fascinating and someone is going out on their shield.  

For Arreola, it’s a disappointment as his career again fails to advance.  He’s a fun fighter, an above average journeyman talent capable of giving a game effort against the upper class of the division without beating them.  Look at his career for what it is instead of the narrative and there is nothing wrong with that.  The story on him was potential with a work ethic issue.  It was misleading and overwhelming.  This weekend, there were a ton of words wasted about how he’d gotten in better shape than for the first Stiverne fight.

Almost everyone ignored that Stiverne lost even more weight from the first time around. 

That sort of blind reaction tells a lot about how strong the narrative was.  Arreola has been carefully managed with only a few step-up bouts.  He’s still never beaten a legitimate contender type or really won more than a few rounds in trying.  The real narrative is that Al Haymon and Dan Goosen did a great job protecting him, getting ample TV time against second-rate foes, and creating the façade of a star by letting his style and personality create a following.

He is the ultimate example of how important good management can be in getting a fighter to opportunity while managing risk.  He didn’t have to go overseas to fight Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Povetkin like, say, an Eddie Chambers did on his way up.  And to date he’s had more title shots. 

When Arreola was risked, against Vitali Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek, and now Stiverne, he faltered.  But he got there.                

Report Card Picks 2014: 23-7

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 05-12-2014

[QUOTE=PunchyPotorff;14546551]Good points in the article about how clinical the managing of Arreola along the way to this point. One thing I think fans don't focus in on though... Arreola makes a big deal when he's 'in shape'... but really, he's…

Comment by PunchyPotorff on 05-12-2014

Good points in the article about how clinical the managing of Arreola along the way to this point. One thing I think fans don't focus in on though... Arreola makes a big deal when he's 'in shape'... but really, he's…

Comment by crold1 on 05-12-2014

[QUOTE=dan_cov;14546382]I think people are being way to critical of Stivernes defense. Arreola was throwing 4-5 punch combinations and not a great deal got through. Stiverne was slipping well & took a lot on the gloves. I think his head movement…

Comment by dan_cov on 05-12-2014

I think people are being way to critical of Stivernes defense. Arreola was throwing 4-5 punch combinations and not a great deal got through. Stiverne was slipping well & took a lot on the gloves. I think his head movement…

Comment by hillbilly on 05-12-2014

[QUOTE=crold1;14545471]I thought he adjusted well I four and he blocked/slipped well for a lot of the fight. Getting caught in a good fight happens but he kept damage down and minimized follow up assaults.[/QUOTE] I thought his defense picked up…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Video: Badou Jack Talks Kovalev-Ward, Mayweather-McGregor Gassiev: I Was Surpised at How Tough Lebedev Was, He Hits Hard Ed Brown, 25, Passes Away Sunday Following Fatal Shooting Andy Ruiz Hits New Zealand Feeling Strong, Confident of Victory Video: Bermane Stiverne Discusses Alexander Povetkin Title Fight Juan Carlos Reveco Bounces Back With Wide Points Win Photos: Murat Gassiev, Denis Lebedev Wage War in Moscow Troyanovsky: I Never Saw The Punch, I Hope To Get a Rematch Murat Gassiev-Denis Lebedev: Post-Fight Report Card Saunders Admits Weight Issue, Needed 6 Months To Drop From 210 Photos: Jesus Cuellar Grinding Hard For Abner Mares Title Defense Fan Favorite Jose Ramirez Wants To Bring HBO Card To Fresno Zlaticanin: I Plan To Knock Mikey Garcia Out, He's Easy To Hit! Chavez Jr. Admits: If I Don't Beat Britsch - Then It's Time To Go! Photos: Billy Joe Saunders Looks Poor in Lackluster Akavov Win Billy Joe Saunders: I'll Do My Two Mandatories, Then a Big Fight Frank Warren Sees Bradley Skeete Going For World Title in 2017 Tony Bellew Hints That David Haye is Broke: His Life is in Turmoil! Julian Williams: I'm More Focused, I Definitely Went The Extra Mile Marcos Villasana Jr. Knocks Out Jorge Luis Rodriguez In Eight McGregor: F*** Mayweather's Manager, I Hold All The Numbers! Johnny Navarrete Shocks Jorge Paez Jr. - Retirement Looms? Ed Brown is Fighting For His Life After Being Shot in The Head Saunders: I Called Out GGG, Now I'm Embarrassed By Performance Michael Conlan: McGregor Will Carry Irish Flag at My Pro Debut Photos: Andy Ruiz Hits New Zealand For Joseph Parker Showdown Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov - CompuBox Punch Stats Freddie Roach Impressed: Murat Gassiev Was a Beast in There Murat Gassiev vs. Denis Lebedev - CompuBox Punch Stats Billy Joe Saunders Struggles in Decision Win Over Artur Akavov Lolenga Mock, Sherman Williams Win in Aarhus, Denmark Jack Catterall Outpoints Diego Luque, Retains Fringe WBO Regional Lebedev Wants a Rematch: I Thought I Won or it Was a Draw Paul Butler Beats Alexander Cazares, Targets Jamie McDonnell Kubrat Pulev Batters, Stops Samuel Peter in Four Rounds Murat Gassiev Drops, Decisions Lebedev With Split Nod For IBF Belt Denis Lebedev vs. Murat Gassiev - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Julius Indongo Destroys Eduard Troyanovsky in One - HUGE Upset Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey - CompuBox Punch Stats Maxim Vlasov Blasts Rakhim Chakhkiev in Wild Shootout
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement