Chris Arreola Found Victory in Defeat
Chris Arreola was beaten in brutal fashion in Saturday night's fight with WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko. His lack of technique and talent were exposed for the world to see.
When Klitschko hit him with shots to the body his fat shook from his ankles to his neck. He stumbled, he staggered, he missed with many wild shots, but he may have come away with a moral vicory. Arreola was finally granted mercy when the referee stepped in and called a halt to the punishement before the start of the 11th round.
After the bout was stopped, Arreola's frustration with himself was visible, as he broke down in tears. His "shame" was captured live on television and in the presence of thousands of his hometown fans. He apologized tearfully during the post-fight interview with HBO's Larry Merchant. He vowed to be back.
If you witnessed the fight you probably came away with a new-found respect for Arreola and his heart and determination. I predicted Klitschko would put him away within four rounds. Many industry experts didn't think Arreola would last much longer. I think it's safe to say that Arreola impressed everyone with his performance.
Arreola has long been criticized for his conditioning and lack of dedication to his sport. He began his professional career fighting at or near 225 pounds. He has since ballooned up to over 265 pounds. He came into the biggest fight of his career at a trimmer 252 pounds, after stepping onto the scale with a weighted vest and being registered at 274, a joke he poked at himself.
Arreola may be able to look ahead to bigger fights in the near future. A tune-up is needed if he wants to shake the cob webs put in his head by the iron fists of Vitali Klitschko. It would also be good for him to shed some more weight and get back to his optimal fighting weight of 230 pounds before he challenges the division's elite again.
At the top of this piece I used the word SHAME in quotations. Arreola felt like he shamed himself and his fans in losing. Quite to the contrary. Arreola did something that not many people have done—make Vitali Klitschko fight every second of every round.
He wasn't intimidated during the face-off. He didn't spend the fight looking down at his shoes and waiting to be put to sleep. He went after the Ukrainian giant and took everything he had. If he had it his way they would still be fighting.
So, to Chris Arreola, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You fought valiantly (albeit with very little technique) and proved you were the future of the division and the "Great Brown Hope" for bringing a Heavyweight championship back to the United States. Congratulations.
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