Chris Arreola: Skills Plus Heart Minus Discipline Equals a Contender

Oliver SuarezContributor IIDecember 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Vitali Klitschko thros a left hand against opponent Chris Arreola at the Stapeles Center on September 26, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
No one doubts that Chris Arreola has the skills to become a champion one day.  He has power, a granite chin, and is one of the best combination punchers in his division.
Yet, he may never be the champion he always aspires to be since he lacks the discipline to take his career to the next level. 
After the Klitschko fight, he showed that, with his skills and heart combined with his dedication to conditioning, he can be competitive against anybody in his division.
After the fight, he apologized to the fans for his performance, and boasted of coming back better than ever, but showed up in the fight against Brian Minto at career-heavy 263 pounds. 
There is nothing to be ashamed of when you lose a fight, a number of great champions have lost, but it’s what a fighter does after a loss that shows his true dedication to himself and the sport.
What Arreola needs to realize is that, talent alone is often not enough to become a champion.  Just take a look at the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao.  
They have the talent. Their physical gifts are superior compared to most of their contemporaries, yet neither sit on his laurels, and both are known as gym rats who continue to hone their skills.
Nobody expected Arreola to come in with a chiseled body against Minto, but nobody expected him to come in at, arguably, his worst condition either on a fight following his loss to Vitali. 
Sure, he’s been successful, so far, beating other prospects and fringe contenders, but it takes a whole new level of commitment to beat fighters such as the Klitschkos. 
He may still become a champion considering the lack of exceptional talents in the division and the number of alphabet belts, but only a champion who will easily be forgotten, and not a fighter whose name will be discussed upon long after he’s gone from the sport.