My thoughts on Klitschko vs. Arreola

06.01.09 - Miika Forsstr÷m: If the rumours are right Wladimir Klitschko faces in his next bout unbeaten American prospect Chris Arreola. In my opinion this would be a terrible mismatch. Arreola has no chance against Klitschko and he would get stopped early in the fight. So, why are they making this fight and why do people consider it as an interesting bout? The answers are similar to the answers to questions why and how Tyson vs. McNeeley and Lewis vs. Grant match-up┤s were made..

Chris Arreola┤s career reminds me a lot of Michael Grant┤s and Peter McNeeley┤s careers. Michael Grant at his prime was a better fighter than Arrola is or ever will be, while Arreola is of course way better than McNeeley was.

Michael Grant was considered as the best heavyweight prospect in the late 1990┤s. Many expected him to become a world champion and some even thought that he could become a great champion. Grant beat some decent B-level boxers like David Izon, Obed Sullivan and Lou Savarese. In his first fight at top-level Grant was dropped twice by Andrew Golota before winning the fight by come from behind on points TKO, when Golota decided to quit in the 10th round. Grant was exposed, although he won.

Already in his next bout Grant got his big chance and big money fight as he challenged the world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. Grant was brutally beaten in two very one-sided rounds. Some say that Grant was ruined by putting him too early to a too tough place. Sure, it might had done good to Grant to get few more bouts before facing Lewis, bust most likely he could had never developed to be good enough to beat as good fighter as Lennox Lewis was.

Chris Arreola was exposed Travis Walker in November. Walker is no top-level heavyweight, but still he gave Arreola all the troubles in the world. Sure, Arreola game back to stop Walker in a very exciting fashion, but the fight proved that Arreola is not a top heavyweight.

In my opinion it is clear that Arreola is not at this stage nor he ever will be good enough to give someone like Wladimir Klitschko a good fight. So, of course they want to feed Arreola to Klitschko already now. If they would wait a year or two Arreola might very well lose to some B-level fighter, like Travis Walker, and never get to chance to step up into the ring with Klitschko. And of course Arreola would also lose the payday of his life. That is the reason why Arreola is taking the fight already, although he can not think that he is ready and that why Michael Grant took on Lennox Lewis right after he got dropped twice against Golota

Peter McNeeley┤s career was build in the early 1990┤s basically for one reason; to make good money by getting him into one big moneyfight. Usually the opponent of an prospects gets better step by step, but McNeeley┤s were all D-level fighters. The meaning of the fights were not to improve McNeeley as a fighter, but only to get him a great looking record, so he can be sold to the lions one day for big money. Why? Because they know that Peter McNeeley was not good enough to compete at top-level and they still wanted to make some money with him. In 1995 McNeeley got his big money fight and got destroyed by Mike Tyson in the opening round.

Sure, Arreola has faced far better competition than McNeeley faced before getting the money fights, but the big TV-company HBO is way over-hyping Chris Arreola. Why? Because they can┤t find any interesting opponent to the dominant Wladimir Klitschko. If HBO would believe that Arreola could some day be competitive with Klitcshko, they would not put Arreola against Klitscko right now. They would match Arreola against tougher opponents than Travis Walker and hope that Arreola improves. But because Arreola is not very talented, that would be very risky. Arreola could very well lose to top 20 heavyweight or even someone worse and the HBO would not have anyone interesting to put against Klitschko. I believe that that is main reason why HBO is "selling" Arreola already to Klitschko┤s punching bag.

For Arreola this is a good situation. He gets his big chance and big payday, which he really does not deserve. And he gets it without risking his hype against some dangerous heavyweight. Peter McNeeley got his big payday and media-attention against Tyson and he needs to be grateful to get that, because he did not deserve it.

Although I do not consider Chris Arreola as a very good boxer, I do respect him and I like his attitude. I have nothing against Arreola. But I just do not like the way HBO is selling Arreola to us. HBO is over-hyping him. I just hope that Arreola realises that if he now takes on Wladimir Klitschko that will be badly beaten. I hope that Arreola does not buy his hype. If he does, then he will have a rude awakening.

Article posted on 05.01.2009

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