Could It Be Chris’ Time To Shine

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 14, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — Undefeated WBC No. 1-ranked title contender Chris Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs) will have an opportunity to make history. On Saturday, September 26, Arreola hopes to become the first boxer of Mexican decent to win a world heavyweight title.

The 28 year-old Riverside, California native will be fighting at home in front of thousands of fans at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles when he will challenge WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs). The bout, promoted by K2 and Goosen-Tutor Promotions, will be aired live on HBO “World Championship Boxing” beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

It will be Klitschko’s second defense of the heavyweight title he won in October 2008 following a four-year layoff. Vitali lifted the WBC title away from Samuel Peter, who retired on his stool prior to the beginning of the ninth round.

In Vitali’s first defense, he stopped Juan Carlos Gomez in the ninth round.

“To be honest with you, for me, it’s just another fight,” Arreola said in a recent statement. “I don’t try to get caught up in the hype or everything like that. It’s just another fight. It’s a tough fight, that’s what it is. It’s just another tough fight even though we all know it’s bigger than just another fight.”

Can Arreola, a fearless and determined heavyweight with decent power, unseat a revived, refreshed, and regrouped Vitali Klitschko to make history?

“Two big men are going to collide, but the real, big talk of this fight is heavyweight history,” said Arreola’s promoter Dan Goosen. “This is a reflection of where we know we’re going and where we’ve been going for the last five years, and that’s making heavyweight history.”

Everyone is getting caught-up in the talk of heavyweight championship history being made perhaps. What would it mean for the sport, for Arreola to have a the first-ever world heavyweight champion of Mexican decent?

It would be huge because, Arreola would become the first American heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs more than two years ago. The United States has not had a dominant heavyweight champion since Evander Holyfield, who at age 45 is still fighting.

Arreola as heavyweight champion is big business and it could revive the heavyweight division – at least on the American front. But not to get too carried away here, Arreola has to first win the heavyweight title and that means beating Klitschko. The fight has to be fought before it can be won. Therefore, why get caught up?!

“I don’t want to get caught up with all this business about making history,” Arreola said. “Of course it’s history. It’s already known that it’s history. It’s already known that’s its going to be a big atmosphere in the STAPLES Center, why get caught up in it?”

One thing is for sure, Arreola, at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and Klitschko, 6-foot-7, 243 pounds, both have a lot of punching power. Vitali, who shares control of the world heavyweight championship with younger brother Wladimir, maybe the better conditioned fighter. Vitali may also be the better technician, as well as the harder puncher of the two.

Vitali will be an uphill battle for Arreola, but the younger Man is ready for the challenge.

“I guarantee that it’s going to be an exciting fight and I guarantee that I’m going to come out with the world title and I’ll work my (expletive) off,” Arreola said.

Witness history, as Vitali Klitschko tries to prevent Chris Arreola from becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to capture a world heavyweight championship. For those near the California area and would like to attend, tickets can be purchased at STAPLES Center, all TicketMaster outlets, by phone (800) 745-3000 and online at www.ticketmaster.com

Mayweather-Marquez on Saturday

This is it! The final week of festivities leading up to another epic HBO Pay-Per-View boxing event will culminate with the return of unbeaten five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) Boxing’s “Pretty Boy,” Money-Mayweather” will challenge Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) to a 12-round welterweight fight.

“Mayweather vs. Marquez: Number One vs. Numero Uno” will commence on Saturday, September 19, at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. The event marks Mayweather’s return to the boxing ring after a two-year “retirement.”

Lots of hype has gone into this fight. The “Mayweather-Marquez: 24/7″ series on HBO has been a success. Both fighters appear focused on the task at hand and should be in top form by the time the bell rings.

The press conferences, the conference calls, the public workouts, and countless interviews to go along with popularity of both fighters has truly turned Mayweather vs. Marques into an event.

There are no titles at stake. When Mayweather retired following his tenth-round KO of Ricky Hatton in December 2007, the then WBC welterweight champion was recognized as the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound.

Even though that distinction as been given to Manny Pacquiao (and rightfully so), many believe that Mayweather is still the best fighter in the world.

It is up to Marquez, a former three division world champion at featherweight, super featherweight, and lightweight, to convince everyone that he can move up another weight class (welterweight) to defeat Mayweather. It’s up to Marquez to prove that Mayweather isn’t the same fighter he was before he retired.

The opportunity to hand Mayweather his first defeat is indeed a primary motivating factor. However, Marquez has always discussed his desire to fight Pacquiao in what would be a third fight. Marquez survived three first round knockdowns in the first bout more than five years ago years ago and escaped with a 12-round draw.

In the rematch, A third round knockdown of a hotly contested rematch was difference the difference, as Pacquiao led 115-112, 114-113 and 112-115 on the judges scorecards. A lot of people believe that Marquez won both fights.

The only was Marquez can possibly have a third shot at Pacquiao is if he beats Mayweather. A Marquez win should set-up a big fight between the winner of Pacquaio vs. WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in November.

But don’t worry; Marquez isn’t going to beat Mayweather. Marquez may make Floyd, Jr. fight and get hit a little more maybe perhaps Floyd has been out of the ring for so long. Perhaps Marquez, power could carry in weight the way it did at lightweight when he became the only fighter to stop both Juan Diaz and Joel Cassamayor.

Marquez is an excellent technician and rugged Mexican fighter, but he doesn’t have the flash, sharpness, and fighting skills of a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Mayweather simply does everything correctly and should be considerably faster than Marquez. Mayweather will win either on points or late stoppage. Marquez has never been stopped, but has lost four decisions.

Ward, Kessler ready for Boxing Classic

2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Andre Ward (20-0, 13 KOs) and WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (42-1, 31 KOs) each posted impressive victories on Saturday.

Ward, fighting in his hometown of Temecula, California, knocked out Shelby Pudwill (22-4-1, 9 KOs) at 2:16 the third round. Kessler, making the second defense of his 168-pound title in his native Herning, Denmark, stopped Gusmyr Peromo (16-3, 10 KOs) at 51 seconds into the fourth round.

Both bouts were televise live nationally on SHOWTIME’s critically acclaimed “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.

Ward will challenge Kessler for his title on November 21, and that bout will be part of SHOWTIME’s highly anticipated “Super Six Boxing Classic” featuring six of the very best super middleweight fighters in the world today.

Aside from Kessler vs. Ward, other bouts include: former undefeated IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham vs. Jermain Taylor on October 17, from the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany.

Also, on the same date from Nottingham, England, hometown favorite Carl Froch risks his unbeaten record and WBC super middleweight crown against undefeated Andre Dirrell.

James Toney back to business

“I’m a heavyweight fighting like middleweight,” former three-division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney recently told a panel of boxing insiders: “I’m leaner, faster and I’ll be even meaner in the ring. I’m in the best shape since I fought (Evander) Holyfield back in 2003.”

“It’s been a long nine months and I’m happy to be getting back in the ring.”

Toney fought on the undercard of Andre Ward’s three-round demolition of Pudwill on Saturday. Toney, whose weight issues have been well-documented throughout his career, weighed an astonishing 217 pounds – his lowest weight since defeating Evander Holyfield six years ago. Toney (72-6-3, 44 KOs) knocked out an overmatched Matthew Greer (12-6, 11 KOs) in the second round.

Toney is adamant that one day he will challenge either heavyweight champion Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko, whom he calls the “Klitschko Sisters.”

“They’ve been ducking me for years and they have fought guys that can’t fight,” Toney added. “I want them next and I don’t care which heavyweight belt I fight for. The belts don’t make the man; the man makes the belt.”

“And I am the best heavyweight in the world today.”