By Keith Idec
Cristobal Arreola remains as the WBC’s No. 1 contender to Vitali Klitschko after demolishing Eric Molina on Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas.
If he has a choice, though, Arreola would rather challenge Wladimir Klitschko than take a rematch with Wladimir’s older brother.
“Honestly, I would rather fight Wladimir,” Arreola said. “He’s a better boxer and he’s a better technician, but there’s something about Wladimir that I don’t like. I respect him. He’s a great fighter, but he rubs me the wrong way. There’s something about him. I believe it’s because after I fought his brother he was out there joking around with my little brother, messing around with him, and I didn’t like that very much.”
Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs) was undefeated before Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) dominated him throughout their 10-round fight in September 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Vitali Klitschko said on a conference call that he would welcome a rematch with Arreola.
More committed to training and busier than he once was, the Riverside, Calif., native has weighed 240½ pounds or less for each of his last four fights. He also has won seven straight fights, five by knockout, since Poland’s Tomasz Adamek beat him by majority decision in a 12-rounder almost two years ago.
“I’m much more prepared, especially mentally,” Arreola said. “I don’t take one thing for granted. I just recently watched the video of that fight [against Vitali Klitschko], and just watching the beginning of it, the walking out [to the ring] and remembering how electric it was in that building, I didn’t soak it in until it was too late.
“I didn’t understand the magnitude of the fight, but now I understand what it’s going to take and how to come prepared. It made me hungrier. I love that spotlight. I love that. That’s where I belong, and the fact that I got that taste of it and that I fell flat on my face, because he beat the sh*t out of me in that fight, it motivates me.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.