by David P. Greisman
Nine months ago, Bermane Stiverne dropped Chris Arreola early and went on to beat him by unanimous decision. Now they are getting ready to face each other again, this time in a bout being contested for a vacant heavyweight world title.
Stiverne spoke with BoxingScene’s David Greisman and Kelsey McCarson of The Boxing Channel on Jan. 26 about the upcoming bout.
Q: You fought Chris Arreola once and beat him. Now you’ve got to fight him again for a heavyweight title. What do you think about that?
Stiverne: “I’m just happy to fight for the title. I’m happy to be able to put my hands on it, so at this point it’s only a matter of one fight. I’m ready. I stayed ready. So when the date comes, I’ll be able to actually go and do my thing and perform and win the fight.”
Q: How confident are you going into the next fight? You handled Arreola the first time. Do you expect a similar game plan for him, or do you expect something different?
Stiverne: “I don’t care about the first fight. I’m not looking — I won’t be looking at the first fight. To me, I’m going in the ring fighting Arreola for the first time. Like I said, I’m not relying on anything I did in the first fight. This is a totally different fight for me.”
Q: If you win this fight, is Wladimir Klitschko an opponent you think about in the near term?
Stiverne: “Of course it is. But I got Arreola in the way, so my focus is on that right now.”
Q: How has your life changed as a fighter since the Arreola win?
Stiverne: “My life didn’t change. To me, I’m still the same guy. I suppose after this fight I had a bit more attention or visibility.”
Q: You’ve been waiting for a title shot for quite some time. How does it feel to finally have this fight be for the heavyweight title?
Stiverne: “Great. I feel great. I feel great, man. I’ve been waiting for so long. I always said good things happen to the ones who wait. It’s happening right now. I’m just waiting on a date right now. I’ve been in camp for the past two or three months.”
Q: I know you said you’re treating this as if it’s the first time you’re facing Arreola, but you are familiar with him. You know how you can handle his power, but you also know you can hurt him.
Stiverne: “Right, but like I said, the first fight is in the past and I’m not going into this fight as if I hurt him or I beat him or whatever. This is a brand new fight for me. I’m getting ready for a different Arreola or the unexpected. Whatever he brings to the table, I’ll handle that.”
Q: But you expect to still be able to hurt him this time and drop him.
Stiverne: “I’ll knock him out. That’s the only thing that’s going to be different. Like I said, this is a brand new fight to me. I just can’t wait to get it done.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at email@example.com Tags: Chris Arreola , Bermane Stiverne , Arreola-Stiverne , Arreola vs Stiverne