By Ryan Maquinana
Bermane Stiverne emerged victorious Saturday night to capture a piece of the heavyweight world title after his thrilling brawl with Chris Arreola, but the Canadian had to come back from an early deficit to do it.
Arreola’s constant pressure had his foe trailing 48-47 on two of the judges’ scorecards before Stiverne caught the Riverside, California, native coming in with a short right hand. The punch resulted in a knockdown, and though Arreola rose to his feet, he was soon on the canvas again before getting stopped by referee Jack Reiss in the sixth round.
Arreola’s trainer, Henry Ramirez, told BoxingScene.com his fighter’s decision to abandon the jab contributed to the defeat.
“We were telling (Chris), don’t walk in,” Ramirez said. “Don’t give space. Maybe around the last round, he had started to not use the jab anymore, and the jab was very effective when he wanted to probe distance.
“Also, I was trying to get him to mix it up with the body to get him not to headhunt so much, but Stiverne has that fight-changing power, and it changed the course of the fight.”
Now Stiverne faces possible matchups with unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko and rising contender Deontay Wilder. Ramirez gave his take on a potential Klitschko-Stiverne unification bout.
“I would give him a shot against Wladimir,” Ramirez said. “He’s got that fight-changing power. Obviously, I’d favor Klitschko, but you wouldn’t be able to count him out.”
However, Stiverne’s chances would hinge on his ability to close the distance on the taller Klitschko, per Ramirez.
“Can he get inside?” Ramirez asked. “Tough to say. I think he would need get inside on him, but on the outside, it would be tough for him to beat Wladimir.”
As for a clash with Wilder, Ramirez gives the nod to the Canadian.
“Based on what I’ve seen, I think Stiverne beats Wilder,” Ramirez added. “He’s more battle-tested, and he has a better chin.”
Follow Ryan Maquinana on Twitter @RMaq28.