By James Blears
Slimline Cristobal Arreola is hungry and thirsty for a second chance to defeat WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Kilischko.
Chris visited the WBC Headquarters prior to his Saturday fight with Rafael Butler in Leon Guanajuato. Chris is comfortably bilingual. Los Angeles born, both his parents are originally from Mexico. So there was plenty of wavelength to and from, plus laughs with the Mexican home grown media.
Chris has worked his way back to being a number one contender with seven fights, since his defeat at the hands of Vitali on September 26th 2009. A point of revelation concerning his conditioning, or the palpable lack of it, came not when he lost by split decision to Tomasz Adamek, but when he won by unanimous decision against Manny Quezada.
He explained: “I won by decision but I should have knocked out Manny. That was when I realized I needed to get my head out of my ass and train the way I’m supposed to. If I really want to be a champion, I better put my fortitude into it.”
Looking back on the first fight against Vitali, Chris even realized then that he’s got be to fitter and employ more guile.
He said: “He was better conditioned and a lot smarter than I was. So I had to learn how to adapt, but then he switched real quick.”
And the game plan for next time around?
“Not get hit as much! Last time, that guy used me as his punching bag for the whole fight. The main thing for me next time, will be lots of waist movement and a lot of lateral movement. He’s big and it’s hard for him to move, yet he’s still agile, so I’ll have to trip him up a bit.”
Today Chris weighs a trim 240 pounds and is looking in excellent shape.
He said: “Now when I go to the gym its strictly boxing. It’s not a weight loss camp. I’m staying at fighting weight.”
Less than a fistful of boxers, and people who fight their way through life ever get a second chance. Next year Chris will be fortunate to have that opportunity. But he also stressed - “Very few people get that second chance. But no one has given it to me. I earned my second chance. Now I know everything you have to do. Now I know how to live with it.”