Arreola Acknowledges Wilder is Last Chance At Making History

By Jake Donovan

The pessimistic viewpoint surrounding Chris Arreola’ upcoming heavyweight title challenge versus Deontay Wilder is, on the surface, reasonable. He enjoyed full training camps for two previous shots at the very same World Boxing Council (WBC) belt and came up well short, so what can he possibly do on short notice?

To his credit, the veteran contender from Riverside, Calif. is forever a realist and understands the role he’s been assigned for the July 16 showdown at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

“I’m the underdog and – you know what – I should be the underdog for this fight,” Arreola (36-4-1, 31KOs) admitted during Wednesday’s press conference at Legacy Arena, for which he appeared via live Skype interview. “"I have to make the best out of this opportunity. He is doing what he is supposed to do as a champion. He is defending his title.”

deontay-wilder (4)_1

The bout will mark the fourth defense of the title that Wilder (36-0, 35KOs) claimed in a landslide decision win over Bermane Stiverne last January in Las Vegas.

It’s the only time in his pro career in which the unbeaten fighting pride of Tuscaloosa, Alabama – roughly an hour from Birmingham – has been forced to go the distance. Still, it came in a dominant performance against an opponent who owns two clear cut wins over Arreola.

The latter came in a 6th round knockout of their vacant title fight rematch last May. Arreola was in control early, but eventually got caught in his second failed bid at a major belt. His previous attempt at becoming the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title resulted in the first defeat of his pro career, suffering a one-sided 10th round stoppage loss to then-defending titlist Vitali Klitschko in Sept.’09.

Arreola’s career has been filled with ups and downs, as well as plenty of criticism targeted at his lack of discipline when it comes to putting in gym work. He’s attempted to restore his credibility, showing up in shape for a hard-fought 12-round split decision win over Travis Kauffman live in primetime on free-to-air NBC last December.

The outcome was disputed, but such arguments becoming moot after post-fight drug results revealed that the Californian tested positive for marijuana. His win was changed to a No Contest, receiving a 90-day suspension and his name removed from the rankings.

Arreola has since reappeared in the WBC Top 10, thus allowing Wilder to make a voluntary defense in light of his canceled May 21 mandatory title fight with Alexander Povetkin. That fight fell apart when the top contender from Russia tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium, leaving Wilder’s team in a frenzy in searching for alternate means to remain active.

One phone call to California was all that it took to move forward with plans for July 16.

“There wasn’t any hesitation whatsoever in taking this fight.” Arreola insisted. “Deontay is one of the biggest names, one of the better names out there because of his skills that he has shown. I have to be prepared.”

It comes at a good time for Arreola, who was previously due to face Dominic Breazeale in a battle of California heavyweight this past April at the famed StubHub Center in Carson, California. Those plans were scuttled even before training camp began, when Arreola suffered a freak injury that resulted in a sprained ankle and a canceled fight.

Breazeale will now move on to face unbeaten International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua on June 25 on the road in London, England. The outcome will be long revealed by the time Arreola makes his own trip into hostile territory, fighting in front of Wilder’s adoring fans next month.

The difference in the two journeys is that Breazeale puts his unbeaten record on the line for his first title shot, whereas Arreola has arrived at last chance saloon.

“I have to approach this fight different than any others,” Arreola admits. “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Deontay has a lot to lose. He is going to come prepared. He knows what kind of fighter I am. I am going to give it my all. Deontay is a tough S.O.B. An athlete has to be ready for that right hand and that jab, be careful and be ready at all times.”

As for traveling down south to fight in front of a pro-Wilder crowd
“I love boxing. I love boxing fans whether they are with me or against me,” Arreola insists. “They give energy to their fighters and it is just me and Deontay in the ring. There is no one that will be able to help Deontay and no one that can help me when that bell rings.

“That is what I love about boxing. It is the most gentlemanly sport there is. At the end of the day, it is going to be one-on-one.”

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by 1bad65 on 06-16-2016

[QUOTE=Redd Foxx;16790541]Fight hasn't even happened yet and Chris's face already looks beat-up. [/QUOTE] No kidding! What's up with that??

Comment by boxinghead530 on 06-16-2016

I like Arreola and love watching his fights. I would love to see him succeed at the highest level just once. He desposed of that fraud bum Seth Mitchell. It'd be nice if he did it one more time. But…

Comment by boxinghead530 on 06-16-2016

[QUOTE=kilojay505;16791569]Arreola could have both hos legs amputated and still wouldnt make weight for cruiserweight [/QUOTE] You mean Arreola is so fat and lazy that he doesnt have to step on the scale to not make weight for Cruiserweight. His shadow…

Comment by Catrin on 06-16-2016

translation "Last Chance at Collecting a decent payday" Wilder should put him away within 6 rounds anything beyond that makes wilder look bad!!! I hope he beats the beans out of him! that fat slob! and just to think I…

Comment by kilojay505 on 06-16-2016

[QUOTE=HandsofIron;16790504]Dude's shot and doesn't have a chin anymore. He should be fighting at cruiserweight imo.[/QUOTE] Arreola could have both hos legs amputated and still wouldnt make weight for cruiserweight [QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;16790539]Arreola is Vitali's best win, isn't he? Or at least top…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (28)
Top Headlines Jarrell Miller: Deontay Wilder Might Knock Tyson Fury's Head Off! Spence, Crawford Trade Heated Words - Agree on $1 Million Bet Chordale Booker Ready To Show He's 'The Gift' in North Carolina Kerman Lejarraga Will Become a Huge Attraction, Says DiBella Promoter: Dinu's A Top-10 Heavyweight; Toughest Fight For Miller Omar Figueroa Craves Errol Spence Rematch in The Future Jarrell Miller: I'll Impose Will On Dinu & Get Him Out Of There Photos: Maurice Hooker Breaks Down, Stops Alex Saucedo Lennox Lewis: Wilder-Fury Will NOT Look Like Klitschko-Fury Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Garcia, Mayweather, Usyk, More Photos: Kavaliauskas in Line For Crawford After Arriaza KO Win Frank Warren Discusses a Big December For British Boxing Chael Sonnen Cautions of Mayweather-Nasukawa Double Cross Arum: We're Going To Look Very Closely at Crawford-Kavaliauskas Whyte Warns: Joshua Will Get a "Whooping" When Time Comes Kavaliauskas: I'm Ready To Fight Terence Crawford Next! Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Meet Face To Face in Oklahoma Maurice Hooker Gets Off The Floor To Batter, Stop Alex Saucedo Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jaron Ennis Blasts Out Ray Serrano in Two Rounds Kavaliauskas Knocks Out Arriaza In Third; Wants Crawford Next Sam Teah Hurts Kenneth Sims, Decisions Him Over Eight Andrew Moloney vs. Cris Paulino on December 14 in Perth Arnold Khegai Drops, Decisions a Tough Jorge Diaz Wilder: If Fury Tries To Rough Me Up - I'll Be His Worst Nightmare Callum Smith More Than Willing To Fight Andre Ward in May Luis Ortiz Vows To Make Kauffman Pay For 'Cheater' Comments Photos: Nico Hernandez Ready For Hometown Clash Top Rank VP: Arriaza is Measuring Stick Bout For Kavaliauskas Photos: Gabe Rosado, Luis Arias - Get Tense at Weigh-In Photos: Brandon Rios, Ramon Alvarez - Ready For War in Kansas Photos: Claressa Shields, Hannah Rankin - Trade Heated Words Photos: Jarrell Miller, Bogdan Dinu - Ready For Battle in Kansas Chocolatito Reveals Offer For Yafai, Wants Sor Rungvisai Trilogy Jarrell Miller Weighs In At 315¼ Pounds, 78 More Than Dinu Frankie Gavin Very Overweight For Kerman Lejarraga Clash John Molina Expects an All-Out With Omar Figueroa Cristofer Rosales vs. Charlie Edwards on Whyte-Chisora Card Alicia Napoleon To Defend WBA World Title in February Arum: Saucedo Showed 'Huge Balls' In 4th Round Versus Lenny Z

Latest Active Forum Threads