by Cliff Rold
Some guys just ain’t got it.
In the case of Seth Mitchell, ‘it’ would be punch resistance. Chin. Beard. Whiskers.
He’s got the heart to get up and keep trying. He’s proven in four straight fights to be a man in the ring. He just isn’t a very good Heavyweight fighter. Chris Arreola has never been any great shakes but he has pro chops.
And he chopped right through Mitchell as expected Saturday night in but a single round.
Let’s go to the report card.
Pre-Fight: Speed – Arreola B-; Mitchell B/Post: B; B
Pre-Fight: Power – Arreola B+; Mitchell B/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Defense – Arreola C-; Mitchell D+/Post: C-; F
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Arreola B; Mitchell C/Post: B; D
Arreola won, as most expected, on Saturday night. The how of it is what makes it worth conversation. Arreola was clearly in some of the better shape he’s been in over the last few years and it showed.
It’s fair to say beating Mitchell proves little. Mitchell was in no way a legitimate top ten Heavyweight; Arreola has yet to beat one of those. However, he did what a grizzled pro should do with a suspect foe. Arreola tagged him and dispatched him. That’s how it’s supposed to go. He didn’t let Mitchell off the hook. He dropped him, dropped him again, and finished.
But what now?
Arreola referenced the chance to fight for a vacant belt if Vitali Klitschko exits the stage. That might mean a rematch with Bermane Stiverne. Their first fight was fun enough and the rematch would be fine. But there is still little reason to see Arreola as a threat to the very top of class.
That said, he’d still be at least a fun foe for a World Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Arreola’s power, and go for broke approach, would make for an entertaining scrap. No, he likely wouldn’t win, but for a champion who has the division on lock, fun could count. He could also mix well with Deontay Wilder. Wilder has some questions about his chin too. Arreola could answer some of them.
As to Mitchell, he’ll have to think hard about what he wants from here. Boxing is a hard life. At his age, he isn’t going to learn to catch better. Arreola may have done him a favor by pointing him towards another line of work.
Report Card Picks 2013: 35-21
This corner picked a possibly controversial decision and got the dreaded sister kissing of a draw. Raymundo Beltran appeared to do enough to beat Ricky Burns and got ripped off anyways. It’s a rough way to go out and Beltran deserves a rematch. He earned the WBO Lightweight belt…A “Measured Against All Time” piece will come sometime soon but, for now, it is enough to tip a cap to the great career of Rafael Marquez. Even with little left in the tank, he gave fans two more wars against Cristian Mijares and Efrain Esquivias. He wasn’t the technically sound assassin his brother was but, at his very best, he was one of the best and most exciting warriors of his time. The Hall of Fame beckons. Let’s hope he hangs them up.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transanational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]