A Hot Ticket

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 24, 2009

Cris Arreola NEW YORK (BASN) — The WBC heavyweight title will be on the line, as champion Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs) defends against unbeaten, No. 1-ranked Cristobal Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs) at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The bout will be televised live on HBO beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

Vitali, along with IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, are the only two brothers to simultaneously hold pieces of the world heavyweight championship. An Arreola victory over Vitali will not only loosen the Klitschko’s grasp of the heavyweight division, but the 28 year-old, Riverside native will become the first boxer of Mexican decent to win a world heavyweight championship

An Arreola win against Klitschko will be historic and shock the world. He will have an opportunity to make history in front of family, friends, and longtime supporters while fighting for a heavyweight championship in his hometown.

“It’s going to be a changing of the guard,” Arreola said recently during a public workout. “I’m gonna bring emotion as far as determination to win the title for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to celebrate, and determination to keep the title out here in the United States. That’s my main goal.”

Many experts, including the fighters themselves, believe that this highly anticipated heavyweight championship fight will not last the scheduled 12 rounds.

“It’s not gonna go far; plain and simple,” Arreola added. “It’s gonna be a knockout fight and it’s gonna be an exciting fight. It’s something in the heavyweight division the fans have been waiting a long time for.”

Against Arreola, Vitali, a three-time world heavyweight champion, will be appearing in the tenth world heavyweight title fight of his career. Since winning the WBC title in October 2008 from Samuel Peter (TKO 9) following a four-year retirement, Klitschko stopped Juan Carlos Gomez (TKO 9) in March. Klitschko is anxious to be performing once again at STAPLES.

Vitali is no stranger to the Los Angeles area, especially STAPLES Center. Two of his biggest performances – his first world title bid against Lennox Lewis (June 2003) and his first world title victory against Corrie Sanders (April 2004) both occurred at STAPLES Center.

“I enjoy this time,” Klitschko said. “I enjoy this moment. I enjoy this moment by bringing my friends a title fight in Los Angeles. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. This time everybody is saying, ‘sorry, we don’t believe you can do it.’ I will show my skills and punch in the ring on Saturday.”

Added Klitschko: “This will be fight No. 3 at STAPLES Center and I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. I have a lot of friends here and Los Angeles has a huge boxing community. It’s the Goossens, the home of a lot of fighters. To be at STAPLES Center for me, it’s the biggest arena and I’m ready to fight there.”

Arreola feels slighted

Arreola has gone on record saying that Klitschko is underestimating him. Should that be the case, Arreola promises to make him pay in the ring.

“One thing that kind of bugs me: I feel like I’ve been taken lightly,” Arreola said. “I feel like they already think that it’s a cakewalk. Now they already have a date for December.”

“They can still fight in December, but it isn’t going be for the world title, man. I’m gonna win it. I respect Mr. Klitschko. I respect him as a man and as a fighter, but inside the ring everything is outside the door and it’s time to fight.”

If Klitschko is underestimating Arreola, that could be because the 6-foot-3 heavyweight isn’t always in the best of shape. Since weighing-in at a trim and ready 239 pounds during a terrific performance that should have resulted in a KO against Chazz Witherspoon (W DQ 3), Arreola has weighed more than 250 pounds in each of his last three bouts.

Arreola blasted Isreal Carlos Garcia (TKO 3), rose off the canvas to stop lightly regarded Travis Walker (TKO 3), and stopped Jameel McCline inside four rounds. Arreola’s conditioning is a major issue. Nevertheless, he can punch and knows how to fight.

“Vitali Klitschko has never fought anyone like me; someone that’s willing to take a punch to give a punch, or someone that has a lot of heart and fights with emotions,” Arreola added


Klitschko a unique challenge to topple


Likewise, Arreola has never fought anyone like Vitali Klitschko, 6-foot-7, 250 pounds with knockout power in both fists which is why he is called Dr. Ironfist.

Although Klitschko, 38, Ukraine, has two losses as a professional, both losses occurred as a result of injury. Klitschko was easily beating former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd in a bout nearly 9 ½ years ago, but a shoulder injury cost Vitali the victory and his WBO heavyweight crown. Klitschko was forced to retire on his stool.

Against Lennox Lewis in June 2003, both men staged an incredible heavyweight title fight. Lots of ‘toe-to-toe’ action for heavyweights. Vitali was ahead on the official three judges’ scorecards before a signature Lewis right hand left a nasty laceration above around Vitali’s left eye. Since the cut was caused by a punch and a ringside doctor ruled Klitschko unable to continue, Lewis retained his WBC crown via TKO after round 6.

For Klitschko, experience is s the answer

How does Vitali Klitschko know that he’s going to win on Saturday? Why is he so sure? The answer is… experience. Klitschko believes that it is his experience that will allow him to have his hands raised after the final bell. Klitschko is certain that Arreola, even with his glossy record and mental toughness, lacks skills and experience.

“Arreola is a tough guy, a big puncher, but he doesn’t have the experience in the ring,” Klitschko added.

“The question is, who will be the winner?” Klitschko continued. “It’s a heavyweight fight; it’s boxing, where any one punch can decide the outcome. After five weeks of training, 100 miles of running, and over 100 rounds of sparring, I can now answer that question. I am in great shape, ready for a great performance and ready to show my skills in the ring.”

Wladimir supports older brother Vitali, Boys & Girls Club

IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitscho assisted in the promotion by giving away 100 tickets to Venice, CAs Boys & Girls Club for Klitschko’s WBC heavyweight championship defense against Arreola on Saturday.

Klitschko vs. Arreola tickets still available


Ticket prices for Klitschko vs. Arreola are price fairly reasonable and are still available at all TicketMaster outlets, via phone: 800-745-3000 and online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available at the STAPLES Center Box Office. Tickets are priced at $500, $300, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25.