By Mike Coppinger
We've heard it over and over again: "Chris Arreola will be in shape this time."
And while Arreola has gotten into better shape, at least by his standards, he hasn't been able to get into prime fighting shape.
However, with now two losses tacked on his ledger, he says this time actually is different. Arreola claims he's putting in work like never before in advance of his May 10 WBC heavyweight title fight with Bermane Stiverne, a man whom he was handled by in April 2013.
"I'm over here in San Diego working my butt off, man, no excuses," Arreola said during a recent media conference call. "In the past I would give myself a reason to have an excuse. I wouldn't show up at the gym; I wouldn't do what I'm supposed to do as a professional. And times have changed, man.
"I feel like I'm a mature fighter, I have what it takes between my ears and in my heart and in my balls," Arreola continued. "Now it's time for me to let it all hang out at the boxing gym, and really that's where the fight is won. The fight is won in the gym."
Arreola's longtime trainer Henry Ramirez insists that that is the very best he's seen of his charge.
"This camp is going according to plan," Ramirez said. "... Chris is out here busting his behind. I don't have to sit at the gym to wonder, 'Damn, is he going to show up today?' Chris puts in two and a half to three hours at the gym, and then he does an hour of conditioning in the evenings. So right now he weighs 244."
"Optimum fighting weight is about 237, 240, right in that range, and not a doubt in my mind come May 10 that Chris is going to come out victorious, because honestly he's training like a desperate man right now -- a man very desperate."
Follow Mike Coppinger on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger Tags: Chris Arreola , Bermane Stiverne , Arreola-Stiverne , Arreola vs Stiverne