SHERMAN OAKS, CA.-Ironically, a press conference for Riverside’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola was held 88 miles away from Riverside in the wonderful town of Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley.
This writer too had to drive the 88 miles one-way to cover the press conference for Riverside’s Arreola. The ironic part is the Nightmare usually trains about 10 minutes from my house. I could literally walk to his gym if necessary. Well, maybe not now because the temperatures are cracking the 100-degree mark and will do so until October.
Inside Sisley’s Restaurant, a great Italian eatery, Dan Goossen, the president of Goossen-Tutor Promotions hosted the boxing press on Tuesday to talk about Arreola’s next step in the wonderful world of pro heavyweight boxing.
To quote a favorite line from the Russian character in the movie You Can’t Take It With You: “It stinks.”
Most of the talk centered on the Klitschko brothers, the scourge of the Eastern bloc who have captured all of the world title belts that count. Arreola wants one of them now.
“Why is Vitali fighting David Gay?” said Arreola poking fun at Britain’s David Haye. “He doesn’t deserve to fight the champion. He hasn’t done nothing as a heavyweight.”
Arreola and Goossen both pointed to Haye’s victory over Monte Barrett as a poor indicator of the former cruiserweight champion’s ability. Both are also upset that the British fighter may receive two cracks at the Klitschkos after pulling out of the first scheduled bout against Wladimir.
The Mexican-American heavyweight promises that more money could be made fighting him at Dodger stadium in front of 60,000 people, many of them rabid Mexican fans.
“I’m a Mexican type of fighter,” says Arreola. “I can fill up an arena.”
If either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko were to accept a title fight with Arreola it would surely fill up the Staples Center. Dodger Stadium might cover at least 30,000 people depending on the cost of the tickets.
No one is truly blaming the Klitschkos for fighting Haye who has been stopped once and though endowed with hand speed and a semblance of power, has a greater gift of having great British boxing fans behind him.
That all equals a good payday for either Klitschko at minimal risk.
“Outside of Europe who has heard of this guy?” asks Goossen.
He has a good point.
Only hardcore boxing fans know Haye. But in the Southwest and some parts of the east coast, Arreola has built a growing fan base with the help of HBO.
Haye is really an easy mark for either Klitschko.
Though Arreola is currently ranked number one by the WBC, it doesn’t mean Vitali Klitschko must fight him next. His mandatory isn’t due until March 2010.
The more Arreola spoke the more ambitious his goals. If he can’t fight either Klitschko he stated that he wants to rid the heavyweight division of the “old heavyweights.” Among those he claimed he would fight are former world champions John Ruiz and James “Lights Out” Toney.
In my estimation both fighters are capable of upsetting Arreola’s dreams of a Klitschko showdown. Toney loves aggressive fighters. The more aggressive an opponent the better he fights. And Ruiz just knows how to hold. He was somewhat successful against giant Nicolai Valuev. Nobody looks good against Ruiz and nobody that likes action would pay to see Ruiz. He’s the Strangler Lewis of boxing.
Arreola should fight the Klitschkos or someone less dangerous than Toney or Ruiz. Fight Michael Grant who has the perfect height to prepare for the Ukrainian brothers.
Henry Ramirez, who trains Arreola, says the boxing world has never seen what the Mexican heavyweight is capable of. Mostly because he tears into opponents and leaves them in a heap.
“He can do so much more,” Ramirez said.
Arreola promises if he gets a match against either Klitschko it will be a death match. And that fans won’t be disappointed.
“I will fight to my last breath,” Arreola said. “I will go out on my shield.”
It all comes down to either Klitschko.