By Carlos Boogs
Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) is putting together a game plan, with coach Henry Ramirez, for the upcoming showdown with WBC world champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs).
The fight is scheduled to take place in the champion's backyard, at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Arreola wants to avoid the same mistakes that he made when fought another tall WBC world champion, Vitali Klitschko, back in 2009. Arreola was kept on the outside, dominated, and eventually stopped in the tenth round. Against the 6'7 Wilder, he wants to keep the fight on the inside as much as possible.
Arreola admits that if he stays on the outside with a puncher like Wilder, the likelihood of a knockout defeat will increase significantly. He plans to mug Wilder in close and make the fight very uncomfortable for him. Wilder's opponent back in January, Artur Szpilka, found some success with those tactics, but he's not as physically strong as Arreola.
"I know my abilities. I know what I can bring to the table. I know what I'm going to do in this fight. The main thing is, I can't let his hands get long. Meaning that I can't stay out in his f***ing punching range - that's good night for me," Arreola said.
While Arreola plans to be cautious of Wilder's power, there is no fear of champion's reputation as a very hard puncher.
"Hell no, we're boxers. I have two hands too. It doesn't matter what it is, we're boxers. Everyone can punch. I can get knocked out by 147-pounder if I get hit in the right spot. It doesn't matter how big you are or how tall you are. The punching power happens when you get caught. If you don't get caught there is no punching power. If you don't stay on the outside, you don't get caught," Arreola said.