By Jake Donovan
No matter how meager the division is in present state, the old mantra holds true – anytime you have a chance to make a good heavyweight matchup, you go ahead and do it.
That leads us to Chris Arreola and Seth Mitchell squaring off tonight at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The Showtime-televised headliner pits two heavyweights in need of a big win to return to relevance in what still remains a wide open division beyond the top two spots.
Mitchell reversed the lone loss of his career, overcoming a knockout at the hands of Johnathon Banks to soundly outpoint the Detroit-based boxer this past June. Yet the win hardly sat well with boxing fans, who were utterly bored with the lack of action and who remain unconvinced that the former college football linebacker has what it takes to make a run in the heavyweight sweepstakes.
Arreola is coming off of a humiliating points loss at the hands of Bermane Stiverne. The Californian had won seven straight prior to that point, albeit against largely mediocre competition. Still, punching power like his gives him a fighting chance on any given fight night.
Read on to see how the staff at Boxingscene.com believes this weekend’s heavyweight fight plays out.
PREDICTIONS – CHRIS ARREOLA vs. SETH MITCHELL
“I like Chris Arreola to stop Mitchell, even if it is the start of football season and the former linebacker is sure to be amped up for the occasion.”
- Mitch Abramson (Arreola TKO6)
“Arreola is better than Mitchell in just about every category and appears to finally have taken his training seriously. I think Arreola jumps on Mitchell early.”
- Ryan Burton (Arreola KO3)
“The Californian may hit the deck early on, he may look on the brink as well, but he should be able to withstand Mitchell's attacks and take advantage of his opponent's recent wobbles to secure a stoppage win.”
- Terence Dooley (Arreola KO between 6-8)
“Bombs away for however long it lasts, but Arreola shakes off modest incoming to tear through Mitchell and stop him inside of three rounds in a performance reminiscent of his demolition of Chazz Witherspoon (minus the disqualification ending).”
- Jake Donovan (Arreola KO3)
“Arreola went away to camp to get away from everything he knows distracts him and from all indications this is the Arreola who a lot of people expected to see when he first burst onto the scene. I do think there will be times when he might get careless ala the Travis Walker fight but if he endures then he will overcome Mitchell.”
- Ernie Gabion (Arreola TKO4)
“For all of Arreola's limits, and despite the fact that he will never show up in the kind of shape that Seth Mitchell does, he has been battle-tested and can take a punch. Mitchell, for all of his athleticism, power and commitment to becoming a better boxer, still has the question mark that is his chin hanging over his head — or in this case, at the bottom of it. Unless Arreola's been irreversibly damaged by all the damage he's taken, I see him overcoming a tough moment or two and recovering, then cracking Mitchell, who will try to overcome the tough moments himself but won't be able to recover.”
- David Greisman (Arreola by TKO)
“Off the bat I favored Mitchell. I figured he would outlast and out work Arreola but that was before realizing this was a rededicated Arreola. Arreola switched camps to AZ for lessen distractions. Also he looks like he is in the best shape of his career.”
- Timothy Kudgis (Arreola TKO7)
“Chris Arreola was floored and outboxed by Bermane Stiverne in his last fight. But while Mitchell has an excellent work ethic and showed his heart and resiliency in his rematch with Johnathon Banks, I feel that Arreola will have enough power and experience to stop him.”
- Ryan Maquinana (Arreola TKO6)
“Arreola required a lot of rebuilding after his losses to Vitali and Adamek. 3 years of rebuilding. Then he lost. The fragile rebuilding process is over, and now he just needs to get in there and fight like the contender he's been for years. Mitchell came back immediately from his first loss and got redemption. Arreola may have better overall skills, but Mitchell has proved to be much less fragile. That should win in the heavyweight contender ranks every day.”
- Richard Najdowski (Mitchell by unanimous decision)
“One guy appears to have questionable whiskers. The other has had questionable professionalism and a level of attention far outstripping a career that has gone on about a decade without a single win of any real note. Mitchell appears the fare Arreola typically feasts on. There's no reason to consider either guy a serious contender regardless of outcome, but it might make for a fun short fight before Arreola lowers the boom.”
- Cliff Rold (Arreola by knockout)
“Arreola-Mitchell will be fun while it lasts. I was ringside for Mitchell's last fight against Jonathan Banks in Brooklyn, NY and Mitchell looked hurt anytime Banks landed a punch to his chin. Banks reportedly hurt both hands during the fight, which may explain him rarely throwing any more punches in the fight. I wouldn't be surprised if Mitchell scores a flash knockdown, as Travis Walker did a couple of years ago. However, we all know what happened after that. I would be surprised if this fight goes past 6-7 rounds, but Arreola will be the one with his hand raised after the fight.”
- Francisco Salazar (Arreola by knockout)
“A fun match up that will end with Arreola putting his career back on track and stopping Mitchell at the half way point of the fight. Mitchell however won't go quietly into the night as I believe he will stun Arreola with his own power early on. But in the end, I think Mitchell's chin will let him down once again when Arreola lands his big punch. Arreola is the better technical fighter of the two and is motivated to not have back to back losses. He has a better chin and has fought the better opposition.”
- Luis Sandoval (Arreola TKO7)
“I don't have much faith in Mitchell. Specifically in his chin, which doesn't hold up at the highest level. He was wobbled badly in his second fight with Banks and against Witherspoon too. Those bouts are sandwiching his only (and crushing loss). On the other hand, Arreola was clipped hard and dropped at times but he has always found something to get up and fight on. It is said that Mitchell has a better chance of landing a huge haymaker and knocking Arreola down, and it's correct. But it's also true that despite having a smaller chance of connecting with something big, Arreola has a better chance of knocking Mitchell out.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Arreola TKO5)
Totals: Chris Arreola 12, Seth Mitchell 1
The heavyweight fight between Chris Arreola and Seth Mitchell airs live on Showtime from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox