Chris Arreola Weighs-In At 249-Pounds For Tonight’s Fight With Joey Abell, His Lightest Weight In Years

boxingBy James Slater - Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, who faces tough and determined Joey Abell tonight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, promised us he’d rededicate himself to the training, conditioning and dedication aspects of his sport this year. In weighing in at his lightest weight in two-and-a-half years, “The Nightmare” seems to be keeping his word.

The 29-year-old stepped onto the scale and flexed his muscles for tonight’s rumble, and he surprised many by coming in at 249-pounds. The last time Arreola was this low was back in June 2008, for his winning fight with Chazz Witherspoon. Considering how the Mexican/American scaled as high as 263 for his Dec. 2009 fight with Brian Minto, it is good news that he has shed the pounds.

Arreola said recently that he knew he’d have to rededicate himself to his sport if he wants to make it all the way to the top, and he has obviously worked hard for the fight with Abell. Looking slimmer than we can recall seeing him, Arreola did appear to be in good condition at the weigh-in. The twice-beaten contender also made another key decision a few weeks ago: to hire the accomplished Ronnie Shields as his co-trainer..

Long-time coach and good friend Henry Ramirez, who has been with Arreola for years, remains very much on the team, but Chris felt he needed something new. Arreola trained for tonight’s fight in Houston, Texas - far away from any distractions or temptations. Shields will no doubt be pleased with the fact that his latest charge has come in at his lightest weight in seven fights. Hopefully, the man who has worked with so many world champions (Mike Tyson, Vernon Forrest, Pernell Whitaker, Etc, Etc) will be able to improve Arreola’s overall style as well as his preparations.

Arreola isn’t going to change too much at age 29; he is what he is to a great extent. A naturally aggressive, physically strong attacking fighter, the former WBC title challenger will always remain so. But maybe Shields can fine-tune a few things.

For now though, it’s looking promising for Arreola and his chances of reaching his full potential. He blamed the points loss to Tomasz Adamek on poor conditioning (“the worst camp I’ve ever been involved in,” said Ramirez), and Arreola failed to come in at a lighter weight for his next fight; the tougher than expected points win over Manuel Quezada (where Arreola damaged both hands). Now, at least, his weight is going in the right direction - down.

If he can put on a good display tonight, preferably a performance that sees him looking fast, with him throwing a high volume of punches, and if he can get a conclusive stoppage win, Arreola will perhaps regain those fans he lost after the Adamek disappointment. And if Arreola then continues to lower his weight (say getting down to a solid 238 or so) and keeps it off, and if he racks up a couple more impressive wins as he stays busy, we might just be looking at the best U.S heavyweight on the scene.

Article posted on 28.01.2011

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