Chris Arreola is no world-beater. But he is a rugged heavyweight contender with a chin like a slab of granite. Prior to fighting Bermane Stiverne for the vacant WBC heavyweight belt last May, Arreola had been stopped just once, by the fearsome Vitali Klitschko.
And that had been a TKO when Arreola was forced to retire in his corner. In his first fight against Stiverne in April 2013, Arreola had his nose smashed and suffered tremendous punishment while continuing to come forward.
In the May rematch, Arreola started strong. It was obvious he'd prepared as well as he could for his second shot at a world title. He led throughout the first half of the fight.
But in Round 6, Stiverne saw the opening he'd been looking for and dropped a monster, looping right-hand counter over the top of Arreola's slowly returning jab and flooring Arreola. Although Arreola beat the count, Stiverne easily dropped him a second time, causing the referee to wave off the fight.
It took a brutal punch to completely scramble Arreola, and Stiverne set it up perfectly. It was a demonstration of skill and explosive power that should have every heavyweight in the world paying attention.