Boxing’s biggest enigma

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 16, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Chris Arreola is the enigma never completely understood.

There are those moments when you see a fighter who comes in with a soft body and a reputation for not always training hard. Then there are fights in which he throws 80 plus punches per rounds, which is a high number for a heavyweight.

Last Friday night, Arreola was making a comeback after his loss to Tomasz Adamek, trying to restore his place as the best American heavyweight and just as important, a big money main event fighter.

His opponent picked for the ESPN “Friday Night Fights” special was Manuel Quezada, who came into the fight having won 18 of his last 19 fights.

Quezada has not fought the same caliber opponents as Arreola and no one was ready to rate him a threat to win the heavyweight title much less beat Arreola. For Quezada, a good performance or even an upset could propel his career toward bigger fights and more money.

The first round was Arreola taking control as he pursued his prey. The big punch was Arreola’s right hand, which connected over Quezada’s lazy lefty jab. Nor did his jab move side by side but mostly stayed in front of Arreola, allowing him to tee off.

The opening five rounds showed Arreola at his best, jabs followed by his right hand and left hook. But Quezada showed his own resilience as he took Arreola’s best and countered with his own shots.

For the first six rounds, Arreola averaged about 80 rounds but Quezada averaged 70 punches coming back at the hard charging Arreola.

In the sixth round, Quezada actually got the better of him as he pounded the bigger Arreola. In the seventh round, Quezada connected on a few solid rights that started to swell Arreola’s face and bloodied his mouth.

Arreola corner’s advice was, “Don’t swallow the blood.” Quezada continued to throw solid counters in the eighth round and suddenly it looked like Arreola was tiring with Quezada dreaming of upset.

The dream died in the ninth as Arreola connected on a five punch combination in the middle of the round that ended with a clubbing right hand. Quezada managed to beat the count.

Arreola attacked one more time with the idea of ending the fight. Another five punch combination sent Quezada down a second time that ended with a sweeping left hook. Again he beat the count and survived.

Arreola continued his assault but Quezada fought back with more determination as he fought for his career. Arreola won the fight with a unanimous decision but this fight proved very little other than he can beat a second tier heavyweight.

He got hit with several punches and he weighed more than he did in his lost to Adamek. But he managed to set a compubox punch stat for most punches thrown by a Heavyweight.

The reality is that Arreola has talent but he has yet to take his fight game to another level, it is as if his career is rolling up a hill and he is struggling to keep from slipping down the hill.

THE UNDERCARD

In the opening bout, Josesito Lopez fought Marvin Cordova in a bout that saw both fighters nail each other with shots and one was never quite sure until the end, whose fight it was.

In the opening three rounds, Lopez moved inside Cordova and dominated him with solid hooks to the body. In the fourth round, Cordova boxing allowed him to place distance against the ever aggressive Lopez.

In the sixth round, Cordova nearly decapitated him in half with a vicious left hook.

In the final round, a low blow by Cordova clinched the bout for Lopez as he spent the last round, trying to salvage a 9-9 round after losing a point deduction. Lopez won the decision.

THE DAWSON LOSS

Chad Dawson had a chance to put his imprint on the light heavyweight division against Jean Pascal but he failed to take advantage of technical skills and was out hustled by Pascal.

Twice, Dawson had opportunities to end the fight, first in the ninth and in the eleventh when he had Pascal in trouble and in both cases, he allowed Pascal off the hook.

Dawson played defense in Pascal’s hometown in Montréal but in a fight when one punch or two could determine who won the round, Pascal put together a smart game plane.

He combined an occasional bum rush when he connected on solid rights (and in the eighth, one of those rights hurt Dawson) and he boxed, forcing Dawson to pursue him.

Dawson never got a rhythm going as his jab felled short of its mark and he never could connect with solid combinations. For Dawson, he attacked in the 11th round and appeared to have Pascal in trouble twice before he got nailed by Pascal’s head.

The accidental head butt open a gash over Dawson eye and the referee stopped the fight with the results dependent upon the scorecard. Pascal had the easy decision.

Dawson had his chance to put his imprint on the division as he fought one of the other top elite light heavyweights and a win would have set up a big fight against Lucian Bute.

This stopped a potential money fight for Dawson but it did set up one for Pascal and Bute. This fight will fill up any major arena in Canada and Dawson is now back at ground zero as he attempts to get back into the light heavyweight championship hunt.