Boxing


Could Chris Arreola Be a Threat to The Klitschko Brothers?

By Doveed Linder: At the present moment, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, the two brothers from the Ukraine, are sitting on top of the heavyweight division. Wladamir is the IBF, WBO, and IBO champion and Vitali is the WBC champion. Nicolay Valuev has the WBA belt, but the Klitschkoís are considered the divisionís best.

The boxing world has been craving something fresh and exciting in the heavyweight division for some time.. While the Klitschko brothers are dominant, they donít bring a great deal of drama or fireworks. They are gifted athletes who basically beat their opposition because of their size and strength advantages. For the most part, their performances are technically correct and methodical, which doesnít always make for a great night of boxing.

When Chris ďThe NightmareĒ Arreola (27-0, 24, KOs) knocked out Jameel McCline in the 4th round last Saturday night, it gave the boxing world a great deal of hope. He looked good against the 270-pound veteran and he gave the fans the kind of performance they like in a heavyweight contest. But while Arreola was impressive in giving the 38-year-old four-time world title challenger the 10th loss of his career, itís hard to imagine him doing the same to either Klitschko who would undoubtedly be more of a challenge.

Arreola is a tough guy who puts his punches together very well. Against McCline, he showed patience, he slipped a few punches, and on the occasions that he did get hit he didnít appear phased. But at 245 pounds, he was soft and flabby. As far as professional fighters go, one can almost say that he looked downright fat. For a world class athlete who is in his prime, that kind of physique is inexcusable. Even though a heavyweight isnít required to make a specific weight, they still have to take care of their body and maintain a certain level of conditioning that will allow them to fight effectively for 12 rounds.

In previous fights, Arreola has come in at 230 pounds where he has looked fit and in shape. The extra weight didnít seem to have a negative effect against McCline, but it most certainly would against the Klitschko brothers. With McCline, Arreola was able to stay relaxed and fight at his own pace. He had an opponent who was timid and who didnít offer much resistance. Against a Klitschko, Arreola would have to work much harder to get inside and he would have to deal with more punches being thrown at him. In a fight like that, itís likely that Arreolaís plentiful midsection would be a problem.

If Arreola was in tip top shape and was 100% focused, he could be a threat to any man, including the Klitschkos. But his physical appearance in his fight with McCline shows a lack of seriousness and it raises questions about other aspects of his game that might be suffering. Given the amount of boxing that the HBO broadcast team has seen over the years, it comes as a surprise that they were so quick to jump on the Arreola bandwagon and it goes to show you how desperate the boxing world is for a heavyweight hero.

In addition to improving his physical condition, Arreola could stand to get a little more experience under his belt. Given the fact that his best opposition to date has been Chazz Whitherspoon, Malcolm Tann, and now Jameel McCline, he would find that a fight with the Klitschko brothers is much different. Arreola is certainly among the top five or six heavyweights on the scene and if his handlers are serious about making him the #1 heavyweight in the world, targeting Alexander Povetkin, Nicolay Valuev, or Ruslan Chagaev would be a more realistic approach to the top. Because at the present moment, itís not likely that he could hold his own against a larger, stronger, better conditioned, and more experienced fighter like Wladamir or Vitali Klitschko.

Article posted on 17.04.2009



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