Arreola Lucky He Was Not Facing Tua

By Geoffrey Ciani: After watching undefeated American heavyweight prospect Chris Arreola on Saturday night, one thing is certain—he is not ready for either Klitschko, and probably never will be. Despite getting off the canvas to comeback and win, I was left disappointed in his efforts. His chin looked questionable, his defense was shoddy, his offense appeared barbaric and reckless, and worst of all, he was in absolutely terrible shape for a prize fighter. Despite all of this, he did what he had to do and secured a victory against the unheralded Travis Walker..

Chris ArreolaKeeping things in perspective, it is important to remember that Walker was a carefully chosen opponent to help showcase the talents of the rising American prospect. Even still, Arreola managed to look clumsy and amateurish, and he certainly did not appear to be the future of heavyweight boxing. If Arreola is the best American prospect in the landscape, I am afraid it will be some time before we ever have another American heavyweight champ. He simply isn’t very good, and I would be surprised if he ever made a serious dent as a contender, let alone win a title.

Arreola should thank his lucky stars that he did not have to square off against former contender David “The Tuaman” Tua, whom he was originally slated to face sometime this year. Fortunately for Arreola, talks of a Tua-Arreola fight never materialized, due to a disagreement over money issues. Had it been David Tua squaring off against Arreola last night, surely we would be talking about another over hyped prospect who'd been exposed—instead, there are actually some who have the audacity to talk about the prospects of an Arreola-Klitschko showdown! This is ridiculous! Arreola is not ready for David Haye, let alone either Klitschko brother.

On the other hand, I would still be extremely interested in seeing Arreola square off against the Tuaman. Despite being a thicker shell of his former self, Tua is still a formidable foe who packs power and possesses a sturdy chin. Sure, his power may not be as strong and menacing it once was, and perhaps his chin is no longer made of the same grade of granite that defined it throughout most of his career, but even still, I reckon he would represent a most arduous challenge for the American prospect. Simply put, if Arreola cannot beat Tua, he has no business being considered as a serious challenger to any of the major titlists.

It has been over a year since Tua last fought, and despite his inexplicable inactivity which seemingly dooms any hopes of resurrecting this once promising career, I still believe Tua has enough left in the tank to beat Arreola. For starters, Arreola’s power seemed overrated to me. Sure, he was able to drop Travis Walker, but none of the leather landed appeared that extraordinary, especially when one considers Walker had been stopped in a single round by the unheralded TJ Wilson. Even more worrisome for Arreola, however, was the way he wobbled and stumbled whenever he was tagged by Walker. If Walker is capable of hurting Arreola, I could only imagine the type of damage someone like Tua would be capable of inflicting.

Before Arreola is given a title shot, I should hope he needs to prove his worth against a more formidable foe than Travis Walker. Incidentally, I think Tua fits the bill, and I, for one, would welcome a Tua-Arreola showdown. If Arreola wins, he will have secured the type of victory that would help silence me and other critics. If Arreola loses, well, at least we would know his career was mostly predicated on hype, and perhaps this would help catapult the Tuaman into one final run for glory. Either way, given the lack of tactical prowess possessed by each, I think a Tua-Arreola showdown would surely bring some fireworks and would be a crowd-pleasing encounter while it lasted.

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Article posted on 01.12.2008

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