LOS ANGELES — Las Vegas resident Bermane Stiverne knocked Chris Arreola down twice in the sixth round and was on the verge of a third knockdown before the fight was stopped and Stiverne was declared the winner by technical knockout, becoming the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Saturday at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center.
Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 knockouts) landed a huge right hand that caught Arreola off-guard and sent the Riverside, Calif., heavyweight to the canvas early in the round. Moments later, a flurry of punches from Stiverne sent Arreola down a second time. He beat the count of 10, but Stiverne was quickly on top of him, punching away at what was now a defenseless Arreola. Referee Jack Reiss wisely stopped the fight at the 2:02 mark.
Arreola (36-4) had lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Stiverne on April 27, 2013, in Ontario, Calif. On Saturday, Arreola fought a much smarter fight, looking to land combinations of punches rather than go for one big shot. He was very much in the fight when Stiverne changed everything with his big right hand in the sixth round.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.