– Bermane Stiverne claimed his piece of heavyweight history at the weekend with a 6th round knockout of the perennially disappointing & overrated Chris Arreola, in a rematch of his lopsided decision win over the same opponent last year.
How this fight was sanctioned to fill the vacancy left by Vitali Klitschko’s retirement, I’ll never know. Stiverne deserved his shot, but Arreola is lucky that his Mexican heritage is catnip to the WBC.
Much was made of Arreola coming in with a marginally less rotund body shape on this occasion, but ignored was the fact that Stiverne had lost even more weight since their first fight. In the event, Arreola did fight better than he ever has, but gassed after 4 rounds and was taken out, his limitations at world level proven once again.
America remains without a heavyweight titlist since Shannon Briggs in 2007, but Stiverne is based in Las Vegas, and this slugfest will have pleased the American TV networks, increasing interest for the likely meeting between Stiverne and his mandatory, Deontay Wilder
– It’s funny. People do nothing but criticize the division because of the Klitschko dominance in one-sided, one-paced fights.
Take away Wladimir, and you’re left with a series of pick-em brawls between B-level guys that would give the illusion of a surge in quality in the division…because for many people entertainment value equals fistic quality.
– Good to see that Mike Perez-Bryant Jennings may be rescheduled for the co-feature of the Golovkin July fight on HBO.
The winner of that will be the next mandatory challenger for the Stiverne-Wilder winner
– Lost in all the yank excitement over a new non-Klitschko titlist, was the fact that Wladimir Klitschko-Kubrat Pulev is likely for September in Hamburg, in a meeting of the consensus top two heavyweights in the sport.
Surely another lopsided win for Klitschko, but it is still something to look forward to
– Way down the scale at super flyweight, Omar Narvaez is chasing his own piece of history this weekend, as outlined by David Greisman on Boxingscene (http://www.boxingscene.com/omar-narvaez-going-little-piece-history–77821).
In an era with a proliferation of divisions & watered-down titles, this sort of thing has to be taken with a grain of salt, but 26 consecutive title defenses at 112 and 115 would be nothing to sneeze at.
A win on Saturday would also be his 27th in a world title fight, just 4 shy of Julio Cesar Chavez, whose 31 wins is, as far as I can tell, the most ever with a belt on the line
– Matt Korobov-Jose Uzcategui will be televised under Crawford-Gamboa and is exactly the type of random co-feature I like.
Heralded amateur great Korobov finally gets a significant fight, and an unknown South American puncher looks to play spoiler
– The vacant European title fight between unbeaten duo Billy Joe Saunders and Emanuele Blandamura on the Fury-Chisora II bill has also supposedly been sanctioned as a final eliminator for Peter Quillin’s middleweight title.
Quillin-Saunders is a fight I could get on board with, as I’ve never been impressed with the unbeaten American.
Incidentally, Fury-Chisora II will also provide another mandatory challenger for Klitschko
– Speaking of great amateurs, Gary Russell Jr.-Vasyl Lomachenko has surprisingly been finalized for a vacant 126lb. title in June.
Intriguing fight: either Lomachenko, who failed last time around against an overweight Salido, equals the world record for winning a belt in the least amount of fights; or Russell, the man with the fastest hands in boxing, begins to impress us by beating someone other than a ‘TBA’ slot-filler