Chris Arreola has been one of the top U.S. heavyweights for most of the past decade. He had a respectable amateur career, winning a national Golden Gloves title, but his chin and one-punch power have made his transition to the professional ranks largely a successful one.
He has already challenged for the world title once, losing to Vitali Klitschko by Round 10 TKO in September 2009. He dropped a majority decision to Tomasz Adamek in April 2010.
Those had been his only two losses prior to facing Bermane Stiverne last April in a WBC title eliminator. With a huge edge in experience, Arreola was viewed as a favorite against the relatively unknown Stiverne.
Instead, the Haitian-born Stiverne knocked down Arreola and busted his nose en route to a hard-fought, but decisive, decision victory. Prior to beating Arreola, Stiverne's biggest win had been a 2011 Round 2 TKO of Kertson Manswell.
At 35, Stiverne got a late start in the sport. His amateur career was relatively short, though successful. He recorded a decision win over Robert Helenius and a stoppage of Olympian David Price. Against Arreola last year, he used the better boxing skills.
Arreola rebounded from the loss to Stiverne to demolish Seth Mitchell in Round 1 in September. He fought bravely against Stiverne last April with a busted nose.
With a world title on the line in the rematch, expect both of these big men to be ready for war again. Undefeated knockout artist Deontay Wilder has already been mandated as the first contender to this belt.
For the first time in years, things are heating up in the American heavyweight scene.