By CARLOS ARIAS
LOS ANGELES --- Chris Arreola said it's very important that he lives up to his potential, so he can set a good example for his daughter, Danae.
"My daughter, I have to give her something to look up to,"said Arreola, who looked a trim 230 pounds at Tuesday's open workout at USC's Galen Center. "How am I going to tell her to practice hard when I'm just half-assing a workout. You know what I mean? I have the talent, but talent alone doesn't get it done. I have to work my ass off like I have been for this training camp."
Arreola said he is in the best shape of his life heading into his rematch against Bermane Stiverne for the vacant WBC heavyweight title on Saturday at USC's Galen Center on ESPN. The Mexican-American heavyweight hasn't always been in the best shape for some of his biggest fights, but he said that isn't the case this time after his training camp at House of Boxing in National City, which is near San Diego. Some fans are skeptical.
"Hey, I'll take every fan, even the haters. I love them," Arreola said. "One thing I love about haters is at least they are going to tell you what they thing in front of your face. There's some fans out there that will say, 'Ah, Chris Arreola, he sucks,' and then they see you and they're like, 'Oh, you are the greatest thing.' You expect that, but I like haters because they are going to tell you to your face that you suck. If you don't have haters, you're definitely doing something wrong and I'm glad to get a whole bus load of haters in the gym.
"Of course, you know, I do this for the fans. I box my heart out for the fans. It doesn't matter, broken nose and all, I want to finish the fight. I want to give every fan that's in the arena their money's worth. They pay to watch HBO. They pay to watch Showtime. They pay to get cable just to watch me on ESPN. That's what I fight for, for the fans."
Arreola said he had doubts about himself heading into the first fight against Stiverne in April 2013 and it cost him. Stiverne knocked him down and broken his nose, but Arreola still went the distance.
"When I went into the ring that time, I had doubt in my mind," Arreola said. "I had a little bit of doubt. Maybe, because I didn't put enough work into the gym. But in this fight I have no doubt. I left it all in the gym. I worked my ass off in the gym. I won the fight in the gym. That's why I don't believe in luck. Luck is for whoever is playing poker or playing some 21 whatever you call it. I make my luck. I made my luck in the gym. I worked my ass off, harder than I've worked in years. This is porbably the best boxing shape that I've been in probably since the Travis Walker fight (in 2008), nah, since the Malcolm Tann (in 2007) and (Damian) 'Bolo' Wills fight (in 2006).
"This is a slimmer me, a well-trained me. This boxing camp wasn't fat camp. It was boxing camp, that's exactly what it was. Every day we worked we worked on boxing not about me losing weight. Nothing like that. All that mattered in the gym was boxing. That's it."
Arreola admits he has always been his own worst enemy when it comes to training and staying in shape.
"The thing about it, man, is I'm the worst enemy to myself," Arreola said. "I'm the one that kicks myself in the ass. I'm the one that ... the gym is like 15 minutes from my house (in Riverside). I could find any excuse to miss the gym. Car needs an oil change. I need to fix a flat tire. Oh, I need a massage. I feel a little sore. I guess I'll go to the gym tomorrow. That was me. That was my mentality. That's the way I did things. I can't blame friends, wife, kids, nothing ... it's all me. I'm a man. I stand when I pee. I don't sit."
Arreola's trainer Henry Ramirez said it finally clicked in for Arreola when he started taking him out of town for training camp and centered the entire day around training and getting prepared.
"First of all, I seen the dividends it paid when I took Seth Mitchell out (last September)," Arreola said. "You know, that was pretty cake. It was easy. That's the way boxing is supposed to be. You win the fight in the gym and that's what I did."
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