By Jake Donovan
However far along talks may be for the ordered heavyweight rematch between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola, the two sides now have another week to work out a deal – or at least, to stall.
A purse bid hearing originally scheduled for January 17 has now been pushed back one full week. The purse bid for the vacant WBC heavyweight title fight will now take place Friday, January 24 at the WBC headquarters in Mexico City.
Both camps were notified on Wednesday evening of the delay, though no real reason was offered.
Stiverne (23-1-1, 20KO) scored a lopsided decision win in Arreola’s home state of California in their first meet last April, earning the right to face then-defending titlist Vitali Klitschko. The feat proved for naught; the Haitian-Canadian never received his title shot, sitting on his mandatory ranking for the remained of 2013 while Klitschko waffled between continuing his boxing career and serving as a public servant and activist in his native Ukraine.
The long-reigning titlist opted for the latter, announcing his retirement late in the year and thus vacating the title.
Arreola (36-3, 21KO) has since bounced back from the debacle, scoring a 1st round knockout of fallen former heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell last September.
The first fight between the two heavyweights also went to purse bid and was also delayed before the actual hearing took place. Don King, Stiverne’s promoter, submitted a whopping $1.1 million offer to promote the fight, doubling the amount submitted by Dan Goossen, who promotes Arreola.
However, as has become commonplace in recent years, King defaulted on his required commitment to keep bid, resulting in the fight being awarded to Goossen.
The significance of winning a purse bid is that the promoter automatically earns an option of the winner of said fight. The winner of the forthcoming vacant title fight will most likely be dangled as a carrot to lure lineal heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko into a unification bout sometime later in the year. The younger Klitschko is universally recognized as the leader of the division, but was denied true undisputed status simply because his older brother held the WBC title, dating back to his knockout win over Samuel Peter in his triumphant ring return in Oct. 2008.
Arreola came up short in his lone title shot, suffering a 10th round stoppage at the hands of the elder Klitschko in Sept. ’09 for his first career loss. The 35-year old Stiverne has yet to fight for a major title during his eight-plus years in the pro ranks.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.