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Chris Arreola & Gang of Contenders in San Diego Gym

BY David A. Avila ON April 18, 2014
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Arreola Lopez Molinas 825a7Mexico’s border is a mere five minutes away from the gym where Riverside’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola has trained the past few weeks. It’s walking distance to the wild and crazy town filled with cantinas, restaurants and night life that can make Las Vegas seem tame.

So, how many times has Arreola crossed the border?

Not one time, is the answer.

“He’s afraid to go to Mexico,” said welterweight contender Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez on Thursday. “He says he stands out too much because he’s so big.”

Instead the heavyweight contender Arreola (36-3, 31 Kos; above photo by Ray Flores, left to right, Javier Molina, Josesito Lopez, Chris Arreola and Oscar Molina).

Arreola prepares daily going through some rigorous and unusual exercises at the House of Boxing Gym in a quiet San Diego neighborhood. In a few weeks he will fight Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 Kos) for the vacant WBC heavyweight title in Los Angeles.

“I’m not going to lie, I got my ass kicked,” said Arreola of their first bout. “But I was still there for 12 rounds after my nose got busted.”

Arreola, who recently turned 33, agreed to once again move training camp to a location other than his Riverside residency. He admits that if he’s near a familiar setting that finding an excuse to not go to the gym will overcome his need for preparation. The heavyweight also says that if he has a set of car keys he’ll drive off with a handful of excuses ready to deliver like “an oil change for his car” or some other meager excuse.

“I can’t be trusted,” Arreola says.

Inside the House of Boxing gym there are easily a dozen prizefighters going through routines. Arreola sparred with big Joe Hanks a hard-hitting heavyweight, who has 21 wins in 22 fights. His last fight was a loss to Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz, who grew up a few miles across the border from where the gym is located.

Hanks and Arreola spar for about four rounds with each fighting at about 85 percent intensity. The Riverside heavyweight is very mobile and more defensive minded than in the past. Hanks has length and speed to go along with his power. Both have their moments but neither heavyweight is looking to knock the other out. It’s basically a defensive drill and each boxer is not delivering the big blockbuster shells they’re capable of sending.

After the sparring session, the big Mexican-American heavyweight goes through a number of boxing drills before ending the regular boxing apparatus. He then proceeds toward a yellow contraption that is placed on the floor, which vaguely resembles a plastic ladder or make-do hopscotch mat. A half hour later the thoroughly drenched Arreola has finished the various tiptoe routines.

“I’m working my butt off,” says Arreola, adding that his previous encounter with Stiverne taught him a huge lesson. “I’m not going to do that to myself ever again.”

Josesito

Also training in the San Diego gym is Lopez, who has a fight date next week against Aron Martinez of East L.A. at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort in Rancho Mirage.

Lopez recently fought Mike Arnaoutis in a tough scrap, which was very close and included a knockdown of the Riverside boxer who rallied to win by technical decision. Before that, Lopez was in a great fight against Marcos Maidana, who was behind on points when they fought at the StubHub Center, and rallied to win by stoppage.

Maidana’s win over Lopez resulted in a fight against Adrien Broner, who he defeated and now he faces Floyd Mayweather for the WBC welterweight world title. There are a number of what if’s that Lopez is well aware of.

“One punch can change the fight,” says Lopez, who acknowledges that it could have been him in Maidana’s place had he defeated the Argentine boxer. “This fight coming up is my chance to prove I belong among the elite class.”

Lopez sparred with junior welterweight Antonio Orozco, who’s based in the San Diego gym. Although each was only fighting at 85 percent intensity for the first two rounds, the last two they boosted it up a notch and were firing blazing combinations at each other.

“It was real quality sparring with Antonio Orozco,” said Lopez.

Orozco

Orozco will be fighting Mexico’s former champion Martin Honorio a few days later than Lopez on April 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson. It’s scheduled for 10 rounds.

The San Diego prizefighter was in a rugged fight against Miguel Angel Huerta a few months back,which ended with a knockout win. He’s been pushing up the rankings and many believe he will be a world champion soon.

Molina Brothers

Carlos Molina will be fighting Adrien Broner on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Molina’s last fight was over a year ago when he suffered a stoppage against Amir Khan at the L.A. Sports Arena. It’s his only loss but he has an opportunity to make heavy impact when he faces Broner, who suffered his first loss too, against Maidana.

“We picked up some things we saw in Broner’s fight against Maidana that we’re working on,” said Molina, who was joined by his younger brothers, the twins Oscar and Javier. “We also saw a lot in Paul Malignaggi’s fight (against Broner) too.”

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Comment on this article

oubobcat says:

Arreola does appear to be taking this fight very seriously. When the fight was first made, I initially thought Stiverne would roll in the rematch much like he did the first time around. But now I am not so sure. As for Molina against Broner, I think a .5% chance of winning is extremely generous.

Radam G says:

B "Beware" Stiverne is getting da double fudge knocked out.

Chris is rockin' and rollin.' Stiverne sockin' and peacock strollin.'

Becoming the WBC world champion is in his sight. He is not clowning and bulljiving for this fight.

Fact check. He will not become the only Mexican American World heavyweight champion, but the first California native born one. I do believe until somebody prove me wrong. I don't have time to check. Holla!

The Commish says:

Deepwater: You know I am a Deontay Wilder guy...always have been. Putting a story together on him which I will put up here. I keep putting off the story until he gets closer to a title shot, which will be against the winner of Cris "The Nipple" Arreola & Bermane Stiverne.

Perhaps I overrate him. Perhaps you underrate him. I guess only time will tell.

I just know the fight I would like to see is Wilder v Arreola.

You just know somebody is going to sleep!

-Randy G.

Domenic says:

Deepwater: You know I am a Deontay Wilder guy...always have been. Putting a story together on him which I will put up here. I keep putting off the story until he gets closer to a title shot, which will be against the winner of Cris "The Nipple" Arreola & Bermane Stiverne.

Perhaps I overrate him. Perhaps you underrate him. I guess only time will tell.

I just know the fight I would like to see is Wilder v Arreola.

You just know somebody is going to sleep!

-Randy G.


I'm with you 100% Randy. I'm pulling for Cris big-time to avenge his loss to Stiverne, and thus get to Wilder-Arreola, which is a very compelling fight/attraction, with the winner getting a shot at WK. However, I'm not as confident as the consensus here in Arreola walking through this guy. In fact, I think Stiverne will win again, but I sincerely hope I'm wrong. As a fan of heavyweight boxing, being on the brink of a mini-resurgence is exciting, to say the least.

The Commish says:

A lon time ago, Angelo Dundee told me "As goes the heavyweights, so goes boxing." Well, as you pointed out, Domenic, the heavyweight division is on the brink of a mini-resurgence. The excitement that is on its way will be an infusion of excitement into the sport.

It all begins in a little under two weeks, when Wladimir Klitschko gets back into action, then continues one week later when Cris Arreola & Bermane Stiverne face each other in their rematch on ESPN, with the winner to face Big D--Deontay Wilder.

Vitali is now part of boxing history. Will Alex Leapai send little brother into retirement, too?

Very soon we'll find out a lot about the immediate future of boxing's biggest division.

-Randy G.

deepwater2 says:

Deepwater: You know I am a Deontay Wilder guy...always have been. Putting a story together on him which I will put up here. I keep putting off the story until he gets closer to a title shot, which will be against the winner of Cris "The Nipple" Arreola & Bermane Stiverne.

Perhaps I overrate him. Perhaps you underrate him. I guess only time will tell.

I just know the fight I would like to see is Wilder v Arreola.

You just know somebody is going to sleep!

-Randy G.


I will become a fan when he beats a couple top guys. if he knockouts Chris that will be impressive. Time will tell. I know he learns on the job but I want to see him against a live guy that can take a punch and hit back. Briggs is looking at one last run,looks to be in good shape and wants to box at Barclays . If wilder can stop Briggs that will be impressive because Briggs has a granite chin. He should give ole Briggs a shot and get in a title defense before he takes on the other champs.

deepwater2 says:

Deepwater: You know I am a Deontay Wilder guy...always have been. Putting a story together on him which I will put up here. I keep putting off the story until he gets closer to a title shot, which will be against the winner of Cris "The Nipple" Arreola & Bermane Stiverne.

Perhaps I overrate him. Perhaps you underrate him. I guess only time will tell.

I just know the fight I would like to see is Wilder v Arreola.

You just know somebody is going to sleep!

-Randy G.


I will become a fan when he beats a couple top guys. if he knockouts Chris that will be impressive. Time will tell. I know he learns on the job but I want to see him against a live guy that can take a punch and hit back. Briggs is looking at one last run,looks to be in good shape and wants to box at Barclays . If wilder can stop Briggs that will be impressive because Briggs has a granite chin. He should give ole Briggs a shot and get in a title defense before he takes on the other champs.

oubobcat says:

A lon time ago, Angelo Dundee told me "As goes the heavyweights, so goes boxing." Well, as you pointed out, Domenic, the heavyweight division is on the brink of a mini-resurgence. The excitement that is on its way will be an infusion of excitement into the sport.

It all begins in a little under two weeks, when Wladimir Klitschko gets back into action, then continues one week later when Cris Arreola & Bermane Stiverne face each other in their rematch on ESPN, with the winner to face Big D--Deontay Wilder.

Vitali is now part of boxing history. Will Alex Leapai send little brother into retirement, too?

Very soon we'll find out a lot about the immediate future of boxing's biggest division.

-Randy G.


I think that statement from Dundee is very true. With ESPN televising the Klitshcko fight as well as Arreola-Stiverne, I am hoping we see good fights that end with a decisive KO. This then would hopefully be the start of getting the mainstream public buzzing a little bit about the heavyweight division.

The Commish says:

Let's see if Wladimir fights more aggressively against Leapai than he did against Alexander Povetkin. Do you realize Klitschko initiated 171 clinches during the course of their bout? That's crazy! That's 14 1/2 clinches per round, opr one every 12 1/2 seconds.

The changing of the guard is days away!

-Randy G.

Domenic says:

Randy - Do you like Leapai's chances? I know nothing about him.

I listened last evening to your show on Sirius. Enjoyed it very much. Interesting hearing you recount the story that you wrote about with Rubin Carter, Gil Clancy, and Switzerland. Like you said, what happened to those guys that he pummeled?? We really don't know! Good stuff. Also excellent phone interview with Shawn Porter. I'm rooting for the kid. A breath of fresh air and yes, seems certain to meet Floyd in the next 12-18 months.

Kudos to you and Gerry.

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