There's Less of the Lovable Arreola To Love…WOODS

ArreolavsVitali-weigh-in-photoArreola is now acting like a professional athlete, taking care of his temple. Could he take care of Wladimir if they fought?

You have to root for Cris Arreola when you meet the genial, super candid Mexican-American heavyweight in person.

Well, you don't have to, but it's easy to do so. Especially now that he's a trimmer version of himself, and you don't find yourself shaking your head at the potential missed opportunities his eating and training habits have caused.

At the Williams-Lara press conference at the Palm West in NYC Wednesday, Arreola (32-2, with 28 KOs; age 30), who fights journeyman Friday Ahunanya (24-7-3; age 39) on the undercard, Arreola told me he's walking around in the “low 240s, high 230s.”

Pretty solid for a guy who'd creep over over 275 plus in between fights a couple years ago.

So, what sparked the change?

He was sitting at home, staring at the wall and it hit him that his 2010 stunk the joint out. He lost to Tomasz Adamek, and then went the distance with Manny Quezada. This came after a cruddy September 2009, when he got battered by Vitali Klitschko. “I realized it was all my fault,” he admitted. He knew he should have blasted out Quezada in three or four rounds, so he got serious.

No more late night taco and brewski binges for the Californian. He still had and has urges, but gulps waters like a camel in the desert instead of indulging.

He tuned in to the Klitschko-Haye fight, he said, and found it “kind of embarrassing,” he said. He chose not to smack Haye brutally for his toe excuse, telling me that he hurt a pinky badly before a bout, but still fought on. But, he said, “I'm not a mover like Haye. I'm not going to degrade Haye, but a toe injury doesn't affect your hands.”

So he's looking to stay active, stay in good shape in between bouts, and would like to fight Wladimir in the US by the end of the year. He said that he thinks of the two brothers, Vitali has the bigger cajones, and hits harder. “He throws thudding, hard punches. I sparred Wladimir after I had three fights, and his punches were crisp, with a lot of zip.”

If and when he and Wlad meet, getting inside will be key. He says he tried like the dickens to do that against Vitali, but couldn't. Now, he's been working on more head and body movement to help in that department. Footwork, and a strong jab are also keys to success, he said.

Arreola got off a good line during the presser. He told all he's watching his weight. “I'm watching food instead of eating it,” he joked.

HBO will show highlights of the Arreola-Ahunanya fight on Saturday.

As I said, it is easy to root for Arreola. The partisan side of me would like him to down Vitali, as I think the game could use some fresh air.

Major props to Chris for getting his habits under control, of course, but I wonder if he has grown enough technically to have much more luck against Wlad than he did Vitali. Remember, Arreola was active for a heavy guy. It's not like he started huffing and puffing and crumbling after three rounds.

Me, I'd counsel all who fight Wladmir to go back to the Corrie Sanders tape, and study it.

Rush him. Bully him. Flurry his face off. Fire all your guns and explode into his space. Go like a madman for a single round, and then let the chips fall. Because he will dissect you from a distance over the course of twelve rounds.

Tear into him like one of those tacos you used to inhale, Chris.

Comment on this article


-the Roast :

Like a true nature's child... Good advice. It could work. David Haye proved that you cant catch Wlad with that bomb if you dont throw it. Good luck Chris.

-the Roast :

Since we are talking about food, I want to say Happy Birthday to the King of womens boxing, Pete Egley Jr. Pete is knocking back some chocolate cake tonight with his dad. I ran into the Eggman on Facebook recently and he is alive and well for those who have been wondering.

-Robert Curtis :

I saw Cristobal fight live at the Home Depot center in Carson, CA just months ago and he's still a fat frick, or just a short fat mamma jamma. Radam G has always seen some warrior spirit in him, but the dude has blown it thus far. Arreola's not as tall as Ali or Foreman and those guys were 220 or much less in their prime. So sad how those of us hoping for another heavyweight king, another Tyson at least or, bless us, another Ali, keep hoping for someone to rescue the HW division from its own business nightmare.

-brownsugar :

Areola endeared himself to the american public with his spontaneous potty-mouth-post-fight-quips... not because it was profanity... but it was because it was the real Chris... raw and uncensored. Chris takes a lickin and keeps on tickin but he's also very sneaky and excels in timing and delivering stealthy bombs when he's focused and really on his game. When Chris lands a punch it's never by accident. Thanks for the report Roast... good to hear Eggs is doing well... happy -b-day!............ If I were Chris I'd take my time and rack up some more experience,.... it's obvious WK's not gettin any better(or should I say... capable of change)... take your time,.. learn the craft... lose some weight... then strike when the time is right.

-Radam G :

The jury is still out on the Cali Crusher. But in the words of Bert Sugar, the jury has run away laughing about the K-bros/docs. But it doesn't matter. They are making that moola. They are into serious prizebumming -- or is that prizefighting. Those K-bro/docs are doctoring their moola. You got to show 'em much luv for dat. Holla!

-Condor :

"The jury is still out on the Cali Crusher. But in the words of Bert Sugar,
"[U]the jury has run away laughing about the K-bros/docs[/U]". But it doesn't matter. They are making that moola. They are into serious prizebumming -- or is that prizefighting." Asinine. If the jury ran away laughing at the K brothers, then what level of laughter existed with Arreola? Arreola had his shot and was bludgeoned/outclassed/embarrassed/left weeping in the ring. Even those that hate the Klitschkos, and wish upon them slow, agonizing, torturous deaths can't deny their domination. It's fact.

-Radam G :

Danggit! That birdbrain is SMART! There would be no reason to deny domination in the graveyard of pugilism. Aren't the grave diggers dominant over those who they dump in the graves? Of course da K-bros/docs are superior grave diggers to this era of dead-arse heavyweight tomato cans, cream puffs, marshmellows, buffet hangoutters, chasedowners of those burrito trucks, jelly bellies, drunks, dopeheads, broken-toe bums, deadbeat bragging chumps and boneheads with a foot in the grave and a breathing machine nearby. It ain't the greatest B fighters -- bums -- tally bums fault. The K-bros/docs are what they are. And they are honorable hard workers, who just ain't got the IT FACTOR. And only a fool would hate them for making money and boring the holy h#ll outta watching eyeballs, while the K-bros/docs get paid. They don't need a hateful birdbrain spittin' for them. Dude cannot ever get over the fact that he has been exposed in this new TSSU, and his cloning days are over. And so long to his days of spittin' racism too. It is time for that old arse to grow up. I'm reminded of the Black-Eyed Peas' hit CD, "Let's Get Started!" The notorious fibber, fader, buster and clone of the Old TSS Universe is about, "Let's Get Retarded!" YUP! Right! NYET! This new TSS Universe is beautiful. Nobody has to put up with dat sucka's depauperated social skills and pertinacious makebelieve and phronemophobia. Holla!

-DaveB :

The fact that Arreola is watching his food intake is definitely the way to go. He was never going to be at his best no matter what he did as long as he was carrying the extra 30, 40 pounds of flab. But he has to realize that conditioning comes from training too. Some athletes think that being at weight is enough and don't put in the gym work. Like Jack Lalanne used to say - diet is queen, exercise is king, but put them together and you have a kingdom. Good advice on watching the Sanders fight for a model on having the best chance with Wlad.