Boxing


Vitali Klitschko is going to obliterate Chris Arreola

Klitschko - Arreolaby Geoffrey Ciani - When David Haye pulled out of negotiations for a proposed title fight with WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in favor of a much easier route to the championship in the form of WBA champion Nicolay Valuev, Klitschko was left without an opponent. Luckily for him, he was able to settle for the next best thing, which in this case, was undefeated heavyweight contender Chris Arreola. Klitschko and Arreola both deserve credit for making this fight happen so seamlessly, especially in light of the Klitschko-Haye debacle.

Looking at this on paper, it appears we should have a balanced match-up on our hands. Klitschko’s record currently stands at 37-2 with 36 wins coming by way of knockout. Arreola’s record remains unblemished after 27 fights with 24 knockouts to his credit.. This seems to suggest a competitive slug fest between two explosive punchers. Looking at the two combatants at the weigh-in, however, paints an entirely different picture. Arreola came in looking soft and sloppy whereas the elder Klitschko looked like a sculpted Greek statue. Sometimes in boxing, looks can be deceiving, but in this instance they are not. What you see is what you get.

When Arreola initially stepped on the scale, he came in at a whopping 272 pounds. With a grin on his face, the challenger then removed his shirt which revealed a weighted vest. It is good to see that Chris Arreola has a sense of humor about his weight. After all, his conditioning (or lack thereof, according to most) has been the focal point of most criticisms. Many observers feel that Arreola simply is not taking his career seriously, as evidenced by the fact he frequently enters the ring overweight and noticeably out of shape. A boxer need not have a sculpted physique like the Klitschko brothers in order to be successfull. Likewise, just because someone has an impressive build does not automatically make him a good fighter. Regardless, in the case of Arreola, it is obvious that he is not preparing himself to be the best he can be, and this fight hardly seems like the exception.

Arreola appears to be in slightly better shape this time around, which seems to be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, this will not matter come Saturday. The simple fact of the matter is that Arreola lacks the skills and technique required to compete with Vitali Klitschko. Klitschko is stronger, faster, taller, better conditioned, tougher, and most importantly can take a better punch. All signs are pointing to a Klitschko victory. The only advantage Arreola has, if you can even call it an advantage, is “youth”, but whatever Vitali lacks in youth, he more than makes up for in terms of experience.

Most observers are expecting a vintage Vitali performance. In his typical victory, Klitschko systematically wears his opponent down both mentally and physically. He does so by administering methodical prolonged beatings, whereby an accumulation of punches acts to dissuade an opponent before his body finally submits to the punishment. This usually results in a late round stoppage victory for Klitschko. We have seen this blue print in action time and time again, as illustrated in his last four victories against Corrie Sanders, Danny Williams, Sam Peter, and Juan Carlos Gomez. Each pair of victories may have been separated by a four year retirement, but Vitali’s approach has remained very consistent, and more importantly, extremely effective.

Against Arreola, however, I doubt Klitschko will even need to take this one into the later rounds. I fully expect Klitschko to annihilate Arreola, and I expect him to do so early on in impressive fashion. When Arreola was dropped in the second round of his fight with Travis Walker he did not appear to have the ability to take a decent shot. To his credit, he rose to his feet, exhibited heart and courage, and proceeded to stop Walker in the next round, but he showed a lot of vulnerabilities. Against a limited fighter like Walker, Arreola was able to come out victorious. He will have no such luxury against Klitschko. Klitschko is a better puncher with more power than Walker. Arreola’s lack of fundamental skills and inability to take a punch will be his undoing.

The only hope Arreola really has is to unload early and hope he can land a haymaker that puts a serious dent in Vitali’s injury prone body. Klitschko, after all, was stopped by injuries in each of his two defeats at the hands of Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis, and he also had a lot of trouble surviving training camp on several occasions before he retired. Since he returned in October of last year, he appears sharper and it would seem that his injuries are behind him, but since he is 38 years old, it is always impossible to say how long it will be before Vitali’s body fails him once again. Arreola should take solace in the fact that this gives him some hope for victory.

In the end, I am not suspecting Vitali to suffer any type of freak injuries because I do not anticipate the fight will last long enough for that to happen. I believe Klitschko wins this one by early stoppage, most likely in the second or third round. Even if Arreola proves to be more durable than I’m anticipating, and if he can survive into the middle rounds, I suspect his lack of experience and poor conditioning will catch up with him and that Vitali will drag him into deep waters which will only delay the inevitable. Even if Arreola was in outstanding shape for this one, I hardly think it would matter much. Arreola is an exciting young fighter, but he simply lacks the skill set needed to beat someone of Klitschko’s caliber, so even if he weighted a solid 230 pounds, I would have little doubt in a Klitschko victory.

Incidentally, I do think it will be an entertaining scarp while it lasts, and I fully expect Arreola to give it his all, but that will not be enough.

My final prediction: Klitschko TKO2 Arreola

***

To contact Ciani:
ciani@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
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Article posted on 25.09.2009



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