By Lem Satterfield
Legendary corner man Manny Steward thinks that heavyweight contender Chris Arreola would be "a great opponent" for Ukrainian WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO titlist Wladimir Klitschko, the man Steward trains, perhaps in the fall. On Saturday night Arreola (33-2, 28 knockouts) won a ten round unanimous decision over journeyman Friday Ahunanya (24-8-3, 13 KOs) at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. In doing so, Arreola secured his fourth victory of 2011.
Arreola has won five consecutive fights, including three of the last four by stoppage, since losing the second bout of his career by majority decision in April to Polish-born 34-year-old former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs).
In September of 2009, Arreola suffered the first loss of his career was by 10th round stoppage during a failed attempt to dethrone WBC king Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs), who will face Adamek on Sept. 10.
Arreola weighed 251 against Vitali Klitschko and 250.5 opposite Adamek, but has weighed 234, and, 236, respectively, for his past two fights -- stoppages in the third and seventh rounds against Nagy Aguilera and Kendrick Releford on May 14 and 27.
"To me, it appears that Chris Arreola has matured, so I like him as an opponent for Wladimir," said Steward to BoxingScene.com. "To me, Chris Arreola is a completely and totally different fighter than he was when he fought Vitali and when he fought Adamek."
Arreola, who weighed in at 236 pounds for Ahunanya, already has been mentioned as a potential opponent by Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), himself, who is as a who is coming off of last weekend's unanimous decision that dethroned David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs).
"I like the way that Chris Arreila has been looking in his past few fights," said Steward. "His weight is down, which shows that he is more committed, and he has been displaying the talent that he hadn't shown us so much of in the past."