Would Arreola have better luck against Wladimir than he did in September 2009 (stopped after ten rounds) against Vitali? (Hogan)
A stick with a carrot dangling from the end hangs in front of Chris Arreola in the form of a possible date with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. All “the Nightmare” needs is to win his next fight.
Standing in Arreola’s (34-2, 29 KOs) path will be Texas heavyweight Eric Molina (18-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday Feb. 18. The heavyweight clash takes place minutes from the Texan’s home and will be televised by Showtime.
Molina would love nothing more than to block Arreola’s hopes and substitute his own name on the dance card.
The battle between Mexican-American heavyweights takes place in Corpus Christi, Texas. Team Arreola has confidence that he can do the job but is very aware that Molina has an opportunity of a lifetime dangling in front of him too.
“Molina poses a very dangerous fight for us. He wants to fight Klitschko too,” said Henry Ramirez, who trains Arreola. “He’s going to do everything he can to block us from fighting Klitschko.”
Talks have taken pace between Goossen-Tutor and Klitschko’s promoters about a possible showdown between the heavyweight titleholder of the IBF, WBA and WBO titles. A possible date in early summer has been discussed.
Emanuel Steward was recently in Southern California and mentioned that a match with Riverside’s Arreola has the makings of a great heavyweight fight.
“We need a good heavyweight fight. That’s what’s missing in boxing,” said Steward, who trains the younger Klitschko. “Chris Arreola is a great fighter, an entertaining fighter. He really likes to fight. That’s what boxing needs, a good heavyweight fight.”
While both Klitschko brothers have cleaned up most of the heavyweight division they’ve also fought mainly in Europe. Financially, it’s where they could make the most money unless a suitable and entertaining fighter could be found.
Arreola has excitement written all over him. Not just because he’s from Riverside, California where boxing fans are clumped together like a massive energetic beehive, mostly because he fights to knock out opponents.
“People like knockouts,” says Steward, who’s trained a few fighters that bore similar traits. Think Tommy Hearns, Naseem Hamed or Klitschko. “That’s what fans like to see. They don’t want to see two guys boxing around.”
It’s been almost two and a half years since Arreola fought Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title and lost. A win over Molina could score a showdown with WBA, IBF and WBO titleholder Wladimir Klitschko in the summer. That’s the goal.
“There’s a lot on the line,” said Ramirez. “There’s a good chance Chris gets Klitschko next if he wins.”
Paul Williams, Tavoris Cloud and more
Former welterweight and junior middleweight world champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (40-2, 27 KOs) returns to face Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs) in a 12-round match on the Goossen-Tutor Promotions fight card.
Williams last fought in July 2011 against Cuba’s Erislandy Lara and won a controversial decision that led to the suspension of three judges. Most but not all observers thought Williams should have lost the decision.
“I thought that was bull crap,” said Williams about the suspension of three judges for their scores. “It’s not like the judges were off by more than one point. It was one point.”
Ishida’s biggest win came against heavy-hitting James Kirkland. The Japanese boxer floored Kirkland three times en route to a first round knockout shocker win. After the fight Ishida was literally running up and down the aisles of the massive MGM Grand with a Japanese flag rejoicing in victory. It was quite a sight. Will he be able to repeat?
“I didn’t expect to get a knockout against Kirkland. You never really expect that. I’m not sure about a knockout against Paul Williams, but I think I will get the win,” said Ishida during a conference call. “I’m going to make it a very long night for Paul Williams.”
IBF light heavyweight titleholder Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) has his hands full against Spain’s Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs). Though Cloud has tremendous power he’s facing an experienced fighter in Campillo who many felt beat current WBA titleholder Beibut Shumenov two years ago when they fought in Las Vegas. Campillo can take a punch, but can he take Cloud’s hammer?
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m. Mike Dallas (17-2-1) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (20-2).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Thomas Dulorme (13-0) vs. Aris Ambriz (16-2-1).
Sat. Showtime, 7 p.m., Chris Arreola (34-2) vs. Eric Molina (18-1).
Sat. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Miguel Robles (10-1-2) vs. Jose Cota (8-6).