By Rob Smith: Promoter Don King won Saturdays WBC heavyweight purse bid to promote the Chris Arreola vs. Bermane Stivern WBC heavyweight title eliminator bout with the winner to possibly face WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko if he doesn’t retire. King came in with the winning purse bid of $1.1 million, twice as much as runner-up Dan Goosen’s $500,000 bid. Golden Boy Promotions’ bid was $515,000, and WealthTV $132,000.
Arreola, 31, has won his last seven fights since losing to Tomasz Adamek by a 12 round decision two years ago in April 2010. Arreola fought Vitali for his WBC title in September 2009, but was easily stopped in the 9th round in a one-sided fight. Following his loss to Adamek, Arreola took off a great deal of weight and has looked good in his last seven fights. However, it’s still unknown whether Arreola has the ability to beat quality heavyweights since he lost the weight. This will be a big step up for Arreola in facing Stiverne because Arreola has been matched so weakly since his loss to Adamek.
Stiverne, 33, stopped Ray Austin in the 10th round last year to capture the WBC Silver heavyweight title in June of last year. Stiverne has good power, but he’s slow and not very tall at 6’2″. He reminds me a lot of Samuel Peter with less of a work rate and less skills. He’s pretty much an all or nothing fighter the way he puts everything he can behind his shots.
Arreola takes a pretty good shot, but he can be hurt as we’ve seen in him getting knocked down by Travis Walker and badly staggered by Eric Molina last February. If Stiverne hurts Arreola, he’ll have to put him away because Arreola responds well when he gets hurt by coming back with his own big power shots. Stiverne can’t afford to gas himself out while trying to get a knockout over Arreola because it could backfire on him if Arreola is able to come back.
I don’t see either of these guys doing well against Vitali if he decides to keep fighting for a little while longer. Stiverne and Arreola are much too limited to beat Vitali and would have a better chance against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who had a weaker chin than his brother Vitali.