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Don King and the Heavyweights: The boys are back in town

Joseph Herron Updated
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On Thursday, March 27th, from the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles, California, one of the most notorious and prolific promoters in the history of the sweet science kicked off possibly the beginning of a new era in Heavyweight boxing. The 82 year old “King” of boxing, Don King, and California based promoter Dan Goossen held a press conference to announce the return of the glamour division to mainstream television.

Heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) and Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) are scheduled to fight for the vacant WBC Heavyweight crown on May 10th, which is slated to be aired on the worldwide leader in sports programming, ESPN.

“As the Heavyweights go, so goes boxing,” insisted the Hall of Fame fight promoter. “

The Heavyweights truly set the tone for the sport. Although the big men have fallen from grace, the good people at ESPN have given them redemption! We’ve got everyone here to create the excitement…well, the excitement is already here. All we’re going to do is try to embellish upon it.”

The infamous boxing icon who brought historic events like “Rumble in the Jungle” and the legendary “Thrilla in Manilla” to the masses in the 70’s is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle once again with “Arreola vs. Stiverne” in May.

“The Heavyweight division are the glorious warriors…they lead the pack,” exclaimed the consummate showman. “That’s what all of you will bare witness to on this glorious night. When you see the type of battle that will take place here on May 10th, victory is eminent. History will be made here and will come to you live and in living color.”

The two combatants will tangle for the vacant WBC Heavyweight belt, relinquished by Vitali Klitschko, who most recently held the coveted distinction from 2008-2013. The 42 year old, long reigning title holder left the sport of boxing in 2013 to pursue a fulltime career in politics within his home country of Ukraine.

The outspoken and entertaining boxing mouthpiece is hoping that the coronation of a new champion will spark mainstream interest in the sport once again.

“If you haven’t seen Heavyweight boxing when it’s for the world championship, it’s glorious…glorious…glorious! We’ve been denied Heavyweight boxing for so long, so I want everyone to come together for this great event, in which we will crown a new Heavyweight Champion and begin a new era! Its going to be a glorious and historic event here at the Galen Center!”

The ESPN televised title bout will indeed be an unprecedented event. For the first time in the history of the sport, fight fans will see either a Mexican-American or a Haitian born fighter become a Heavyweight title holder.

Arreola’s trainer spoke about his fighter’s big opportunity.

“This is a second chance for Chris to make history,” stated fight coach Henry Ramirez of Riverside, California. “The fight being held in his hometown just makes it that much more important. Vitali Klitschko is gone and his brother is on his way out, so we’re about to see a new era in Heavyweight boxing. On May 10th, Chris Arreola is going to become the first Mexican-American Heavyweight Champion in the history of boxing.”

The 33 year old Hispanic puncher initially fought for the WBC title against Vitali Klitschko at the Staples Center in 2009, but lost a brutal, one sided contest that was dominated by the 6’7” Ukrainian giant from the opening bell until his trainer mercifully elected to stop the fight at the close of the tenth round.

Arreola is hopeful that a second time will be the charm.


“I’m excited to get this opportunity to fight for the WBC Heavyweight title on ESPN,” stated the Los Angeles, California native. “This is where we belong. Boxing…not MMA. ESPN is where boxing belongs.”

The highly anticipated championship contest is a return bout from April of last year in which Bermane Stiverne won a twelve round unanimous decision over the hard charging Hispanic Heavyweight. In the third round of their first meeting, Arreola was floored with a perfectly timed over hand right that broke the nose of the tough, gritty ten year fight veteran.

“I got caught by a punch I didn’t see coming,” admits Arreola.



“That’s what happens when you fight a world class athlete like Bermane Stiverne. He beat my butt, and should have stopped me because I was wounded. My nose was broken after the third round, and he should have had me out of there. I’m not that kind of guy."

"When I see someone hurt, I take him out. That’s my intent on May 10th…to do to him what he did to me.”

Much has been made concerning the seemingly lack of discipline that has ostensibly plagued the career of the 33 year old fighter. The proud LA born puncher confesses that it’s been a problem throughout his career, but assured the media members in attendance that his training issues have been rectified.

“I’m my own worst enemy,“ professed Chris Arreola. “That’s why we’re training in San Diego and we only have one car key…it’s Henry’s. I have to get out of town, away from distractions to go train. But it’s not my friends, it’s me. I’ve been my own worst enemy in the past, but I am committed to this fight and you’ll see the best Chris Arreola on fight night.”

“He’s a great fighter and I respect him a lot. I can shake his hand right now and after the fight. But in the ring, I don’t like him. I guarantee you that I will have my hand raised in victory on may 10th.”

The perennial Mexican-American contender is currently promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, while his opponent is promoted by Don King.

The legendary promoter had much to say about Chris’ chances in defeating his fighter, Bermane Stiverne.

“Which Chris do we believe? This is what we call pragmatism or realism,” declared Don King.


“I respect Chris Arreola, and he has proven that he’s a great fighter. But he’s going up against a young ‘Tyson’, so to speak.

He’s only seen a fraction of what this man represents here. Chris has two chances to win the WBC Heavyweight crown…slim and none, and slim is out of town.”

King’s fighter finally got a chance to speak about the upcoming fight.

“This is my first time being involved with ESPN,” stated the Haitian born pugilist. “On May 10th, I will be crowned the new Heavyweight champion…it’s not about shape…it’s about skills. I have better skills and I’m always in shape…I have nothing personal against Chris…I do think that the two best heavyweights are Chris and I.”

“This heavyweight fight won’t be choreographed like another heavyweight fight we recently saw, this is going to be a real fight.”

The veteran fighter took a stab at the March 15th Heavyweight bout that featured WBC mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder and 13 year veteran Malik Scott, which abruptly ended with a controversial first round KO. Many fans scrutinized the 96 second contest, claiming that the proud Philly based fighter took a dive.

“This is it…this is the biggest crown in sport,” stated Bermane Stiverne. “The WBC Heavyweight title is historic. My mind is set and my body is set. May 10th is going to be a great night.”

Although ESPN has shown Heavyweight title fights on their subordinate channels, like ESPN 2 and ESPN 360 online, “Arreola vs. Stiverne” will be the first live Heavyweight title fight ESPN has aired in decades.

The boxing community is hopeful that the broadcast will be the first of many substantial title bouts aired on the worldwide leader in sports programming.

Despite boasting the highest paid athlete in the world and being recognized as a global money maker in sports, mainstream periodicals and network television have kept boxing at a distance; consciously promoting other sporting events over boxing for more than a decade.

Will “Arreola vs. Stiverne” act as the catalyst that finally breaks through mainstream outlets once again?

In the immortal words of the most prolific promoter in boxing’s rich history: “Only in America!!”


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