America’s two most recognizable heavyweight contenders butt heads when Southern California’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola and Maryland’s Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell meet this weekend.
Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 Kos) and Arreola (35-3, 30 Kos) face off this Saturday, Sept. 7, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. Showtime will televise. Both are managed by Al Haymon but perhaps it’s time to cut the cord with the loser. Boxing can be harsh.
Picking a winner could be as difficult as predicting what weight Arreola will weigh in. Conditioning has always been problematic for the Riverside heavyweight throughout his professional career. To train or not to train, that is the question.
You can’t dislike Arreola, he’s as candid as beans from a can. He won’t lie or exaggerate about what kept him from training seven days a week. He’s downright forthwith in his lack of discipline, much like a 21st Century Rocky Graziano, but Mexican style.
But Arreola can punch and he can take a punch. It’s what has kept him in the public eye. But now the public eye has a sty.
"I've always been my own biggest problem, my own worst enemy. I can't blame anybody else. I work my butt off once I'm in the gym, but getting to the gym wasn't always automatic. I'd always come up with excuses for not going,” admits Arreola.
Mitchell (seen above during his win over Jonathan Banks, in Hogan photo) is the star athlete that’s been given physical tools throughout his life that allowed him to play Division 1 football and eventually slide into professional boxing. Things come rather easy for the former Michigan Spartan but unlike football, there are no time outs and no substitutes in boxing.
Speed, power and stamina are major assets in Mitchell’s game but boxing is not a game as Arreola likes to say.
“Mitchell was a good football player, but I've been in this game too long to lose to somebody like that. If I lose to some guy like Seth Mitchell I would seriously contemplate retirement,” said Arreola.
Can the former football player stand up to the one-man rush of Arreola?
“He's a good boxer, he comes forward and he throws lots of punches,” said Mitchell’s trainer Andre Hunter about Arreola. “He puts a tremendous amount of pressure on his opponents and overwhelms them with his abilities.”
Mitchell has confidence especially in his stamina. He’s seen Arreola’s abilities stymied because of a lack of stamina and sees a slight opening for himself to run through like a halfback.
“He's definitely the toughest opponent I've faced,” Mitchell said. “But I'm ready, focused and excited. It's going to be electric and I'm just looking forward to me coming out victorious again.”
The hard-punching Arreola doesn’t intend to rely solely on power.
“I can't rely only on hitting him on the chin. I have to make sure and throw combinations and move my head. This is the heavyweight division. Sometimes, one punch can change everything but other times one punch is not good enough,” Arreola said.
The winner takes front stage, the loser perhaps gets dumped.
It’s a cruel world.