Eight Hours And Counting: Will The Klitschko Reign Continue? Or Will Arreola Shock The World?

by James Slater - Not long to go now - in fact around eight hours or so as I write this - until unbeaten 28-year-old Mexican/American heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola steps into the ring with the mighty Vitali Klitschko. In challenging "Dr Iron Fist" for the WBC heavyweight title, "The Nightmare" will face the same problems every other big man has encountered when fighting the giant with the iron jaw and the brutal punching power..

Will Arreola be able to get past the champion's stiff left jab? Will his chin hold up if he's caught? How will the challenger handle the champion's immense physical strength? Soon we will get the answers to these questions and more. More questions like: how will 38-year-old Klitschko handle the younger man's pressure? Will the ten years older man suddenly begin to feel his age? Will there be an upset?

Arreola and his trainer, Henry Ramirez, have, in the lead up to tonight's big fight, spoken of how aware they are of the need for Chris to get inside Vitali's reach, and then go to work and try to rough him up as much as possible upon doing so. Team-Arreola also know how rough it will be getting inside on the 80" reach of the champ. It's tough for any heavyweight to get in on Vitali, past his jab - and once there the champion is waiting with a solid chin and with bombs that can still be thrown on the inside, although not as efficiently as they can be launched from the outside.

There are two major battles fighting Vitali (and his brother Wladimir), then: get past the telephone pole of a jab, and then out-tough the giant after having done so. But the Klitschkos, with their incredibly effective and well practiced style, are adept at either holding a foe until the referee calls break, or keeping him at bay with the jab and with clever movement of the feet in the first place; whilst at the same time hurting him and forcing him to get tired and frustrated. Add it all up, and Arreola, as with any previous opponent of Vitali (aside from Lennox Lewis and Chris Byrd - both men being aided by injuries suffered by Vitali) faces a real nightmare.

But if Arreola, who says he will use angles on Klitschko, that he will use a high pressure work rate and that he will throw punches from different angles, can take the champion out of his zone and get him breathing hard, he just might have a chance. Sure, some have argued it will be the 251-pound Arreola who will be doing the heavy breathing after around five or six rounds, but it should be remembered how Vitali was feeling the pace, at least somewhat, in his last fight, against Juan Carlos Gomez. If Arreola is prepared to through hell and high water, if he really is as tough as some people feel he is, and if his stamina and engine can hold up; he could cause the shock.

If cuts or any other injuries do not become a factor that serve to hurt Klitschko, the older man has to be the pick to win, but Arreola will give the champion a real fight. As crazy as it may sound to some, I actually think the fight has a good chance of going all 12-rounds. Even crazier, I feel Arreola can win if he can keep his punch output going while keeping his chin down and his hands up.

Arreola on points!?! How much of a shock would that be

Article posted on 25.09.2009

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