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Monday, April 7, 2014
Updated: May 8, 7:42 PM ET
Stiverne: 'I'll do anything for the belt'

By Brian Campbell
ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- Bermane Stiverne is a man of few words. And he's content with that.

Ever since getting a late start in the sport and turning pro at age 26 in 2005, Stiverne has relied on his two fists to do his talking for him.

The Haitian-born heavyweight came of age as a boxer while living in Canada. But Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs), 35, who fights out of Las Vegas, made a name for himself by breaking the nose of veteran contender Chris Arreola and claiming a victory by unanimous decision in their 2013 title eliminator.

The two will do it again on Saturday (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET), but this time for a much bigger prize -- the heavyweight title vacated by Vitali Klitschko, who retired to focus on politics in his native Ukraine.

For Stiverne, the opportunity represents the culmination of years of hard work behind the scenes. And he'll need to get past a hungry Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) for the second time in order to do that, with the California native expected to enter in the best shape of his career.

What did you learn about Arreola from the first fight against him?
I learned everything I need to know about Arreola before the fight.

How much do you believe that breaking his nose in Round 3 changed the tenor of the first fight?
They printed that's the reason why he lost the fight. I can't really say. I can't say. Listen, this fight here, I'm going in there to make a statement. Nose broken or not, this fight here is not going the distance.

How motivated are you for this opportunity to fight on this type of platform for the title?
I don't think I'm motivated any more than I'm starving. I'm at the point where I'll do anything to get the belt. It has been a long time coming. It has been years. I know the drill that he's not as hungry as me. My mindset is different. I'm in a different state of mind right now.

Do you feel that your power was able to surprise him last time around?
Not so much my power. Everything Arreola do, I do it better. I'm able to use my imagination, and he's not [able to] because he's an emotional fighter. He fights with his heart. But sometimes, you know, it takes more than the heart. You have to be smart in the ring. That's something that he doesn't have. Listen, what can I say?

How are you able to avoid that same trap of getting too caught up in your emotions inside the ring?
I'm able to control myself and to control my emotions. It's about having control and being able to master your abilities.

Do you think we will see the best version of Arreola in terms of him being in shape?
This is the best Bermane Stiverne. As far as him being at his best, it won't matter. It never did matter. I'm not trying to insult anybody or disrespect anybody, but he doesn't have the skills to match my abilities.

What would it mean for you to be able to come away with a world title?
Everything. It would mean the world. For everybody on the team and especially all of us who have been together since day one. It would mean everything to me. Personally, it would mean the world because I've been through a lot of bulls---. Too much bulls---. This is huge. I've never been in that position, so I can't really tell you what I'm going to feel about being the world champion, but I'm pretty sure I'll be real happy. I'm happy now that I'll be able to fight for a title, and I'm grateful to God and my trainers. I'm just grateful that I'm in this position to be able to fight for the world title.