Klitschko vs. Arreola: Breakdown and Prediction
By Ted Sares - "It's going to be big, I'm going to get that [title], believe it. -- Arreola
Article posted on 09.09.2009
He's actually a little bit heavier than me and a little bit shorter. He's a big puncher with very good combinations. I have to be ready for all 12 rounds, which means I need very good conditioning. I try to work in long distance, but I have to be ready for very short distance. --Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko (37-2 with a KO percentage of 92.31) meets Chris 'The Nightmare' Arreola (27-0 with a KO percentage of 88.89) on September 26, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. At stake is 'Dr Ironfist' WBC heavyweight title.
Some fights are easier to break down than others. Taylor vs. Abraham is an easy one while Pavlik vs. Williams is not. This is a relatively easy one..
While he no longer has the speed of a younger fighter, he appears to be just as strong as he ever was. He uses his Foreman/Liston- type jab to break down his opponents and then finishes the job with thunderous rights and an occasional hook. Unlike his younger brother, he lacks the Hearns-like snap to his punches, but he makes up for it with his heavy hands. While Wlad's KOs are cleaner, Vitali's are more punishing. He also can brawl when necessary as shown in his intense battles with Corrie Sanders and Lennox Lewis. Of course, that was then and this is now.
'The Nightmare' gets most of his work done early as reflected by the fact he only has 81 rounds in 27 fights. This can be both good and bad, because it leaves open the question of his stamina and experience. Going 6 rounds with Andrew Greeley (10-8-2 coming) is one thing; going 12 with Dr Ironfist is quite another. His style is to mug his opponents as fast as possible by exploding with his powerful right hand and left hook. With an extremely impressive amateur background, his ring IQ is much better than most give him credit for. Against Travis Walker, he was able to regroup and turn the tables on 'Freight Train' by being careful and patient, and then finishing him with a barrage of punches
Quality of Opposition
Klit clearly has the big edge here having fought eight straight quality fighters starting with Vaughn Bean (42-2). Their combined won-loss record was an astounding 300-14-4 coming in. Only two of his opponents had losing records. Only Timo Hoffmann (22-0) went the diatance against him in 2000.
Arreola looked great against a tentative Chaz Witherspoon, and an unknown Israel Carlos Garcia, but was almost derailed by the aforementioned Walker. His starching of Jameel McCline was against an aging fighter who appeared to be looking for a way out. Perhaps his best showing was a stoppage win against the Damian Wills (21-0-1 coming in) in 2006.
In this fight, the one round icings of Cliff Couser, Derek Berry, and Curtiss Taylor could come back to haunt 'The Nightmare.'
The combined won-loss record of his last eight foes was 196-36-7. Nine of his opponents (mostly early) had losing records
As testament to his training and dedication, Vitali performed an amazing athletic achievement by coming back after four years and beating Sam Peter over 8 dominant rounds. He affirmed this remarkable achievement by stopping Juan Carlos Gomez in 9 in his last outing.
As for Arreola, his weight has varied between 229 (versus Damian Norris) to 258¨ö (versus Garcia). Given his history, it is reasonable to assume he will come in at or above 250 on a 6¡¯4 frame while Dr Ironfist will put 250 pounds of muscle on a 6' 7 body.
Both have solid chins, though Vitali's have been tested by the best (Sanders and Lewis), while Cristobal's has not. If Arreola is decked, Dr Ironfist, unlike Travis Walker, will close the show.
The Nightmare's best opportunity will be in the first three rounds when he will try to mug the giant Ukrainian in the same manner Andy Ganigan mugged Sean O'Grady many years ago. Perhaps a more recent example might be Lennox Lewis's second round ambush of Razor Ruddock in 1992. In this attempted assault, look for Arreola to use hooks, uppercuts and overhand lefts and rights to do most of his damage. And in this regard, his brawling offense is more varied than Klitchko's.
But if Klitschko can lean back, maintain his balance and withstand the explosive assault, he will move the fight into the 4rth stanza where Arreola could well begin to run out of gas. Taking down a monster like Vitali expends a lot of energy and that's something Cristobal may lack going into the late rounds. My guess is that he will start to wane in the fifth or sixth and be ripe for the taking around the eighth.. The end could come by a mercy stoppage as Arreola does not appear to be the type to quit between rounds.
The fact that Arreola will be the crowd favorite will help him as will the knowing that if he wins, hew will become the first Mexican-American heavyweight Champion.
His coach Henry Ramirez is only 28 years old, but workd very well with the young Arreaola. . Vitali, of course, has a seasoned and savvy corner.
This fight will be fan-friendly and will not go the distance. Count on it.
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