Heavyweight contender Bermane Stiverne won his fist title elimination bout in June 2011 by knocking out Ray Austin in the 10th round. It was a dubious eliminator, given that few held Austin in high regard, but it was nonetheless sanctioned as one by an alphabet organization.
Two fights later, in April 2013, Stiverne, still waiting for a title shot, outpointed Cristobal Arreola in what was billed as a final eliminator to get a crack at titleholder Vitali Klitschko.
But Stiverne is still waiting because Klitschko repeatedly put off the fight, forced purse bids to be postponed and then vacated his belt last month altogether in order to concentrate on his political career in Ukraine.
The move has left Stiverne in a seemingly perpetual wait for a shot at a world title. With Klitschko's apparent retirement, Stiverne (23-1, 20 KOs) is supposed to face Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) in a rematch for the now-vacant belt. According to the Arreola camp, there has been no headway in negotiating a deal, meaning the fight is likely headed to a Jan. 17 purse bid followed by a wait to schedule the bout.
Stiverne, a low key guy, is content to wait however long it takes to get the shot at the belt.
"I believe that good things happen to those who wait," Stiverne said. "I also believe that one of my best qualities is to be patient for things that I want and care about in life, especially if I'm putting in work at 110 percent.
"I am not disappointed that I won't be fighting Klitschko. All I care about right now is to get my hands on that green belt and to be the first Haitian heavyweight champion of the world. I have the best team in boxing to take care of this matter. It is not my concern about where or when. My job is to be ready when the time and date comes. As far as I'm concerned this will be the first time I fight [Arreola]. My performance will be impeccable and very painful. I will knock his ass out."
Camille Estephan, Stiverne's manager, said he hopes that Stiverne promoter Don King can either make a deal with Arreola promoter Dan Goossen or win the purse bid to bring the fight to Canada as Stiverne lives in Montreal.
Estephan said that Stiverne has been training all along in anticipation of the title fight.
"Although we've been patiently waiting, we have not been sitting idle," he said. "Bermane has been hard at work, perfecting his skills and abilities, and his time waiting has been an investment. We will show that the sacrifice and efforts during that time has, without doubt, produced the best heavyweight in the world. Bermane is eager to show that in his upcoming performance."