Arreola kisses Abell with huge right for 1st rd TKO

By Paul Strauss: Joey Abell faced big hurdles going into tonight's fight at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA. First of all, it was in his opponent Chris Arreola's backyard. Secondly, Arreola's presents one of the best chins in boxing. Unfortunately, the same is not true of Joey. Thirdly, Chris has faced big time pressure before, and Joey has not. Abell's main asset was the puncher's chance. But, often times that is overrated, which was the case tonight.

The bout ended quickly with the first big right hand landed by Chris. The official time was 2:18 seconds of round one. Some argued the stoppage was quick, but there was no question Joey was in bad trouble. Unfortunately for him, there is no "Standing Eight Count" rule in California. Joey did fall back into the ropes, and Referee Tony Crebs could have legitimately ruled a knockdown occurred, but the truth is it wouldn't have made any difference in the eventual outcome. It only would have meant more punishment for Abell.

In the pre-fight interview Joey Abell was asked about his strategy for the night. He appeared very nervous, and didn't offer an awful lot, other then to say he planned to jab, move and carry out the plan. However, he didn't elaborate on just what the plan happened to be. It obviously didn't include a way of avoiding Chris's right hand.

As the action opened up, it was obvious Joey's plan included an attempt to counter Chris' jab with his own hard right hook. However, he missed badly several times with the right hook, and was open for an Arreola counter left hook. Instead of countering, Chris noticed that Joey was pulling straight back when he fired off a left hook, opening himself up for a straight right. Consequently, Chris did just that. He started the left andJoey reacted exactly the way he hoped, which enabled him to slide forward with his left foot, and put everything he had behind a straight right hand.

The right was on target, and bent Abell over backwards against the ropes. When he caromed forward, Chris landed another five or six shots sending Joey once again into the ropes. It also appeared his right knee might have briefly kissed the canvas. Referee Crebs quickly jumped in to call a halt as Abell appeared helpless. Everything was happening very fast at that point, and apparently Chris was overwhelmed by the emotion of the situation, so he leaned in and kissed Abell on the right cheek.

In the post-fight interview, Chris couldn't explain why he did it. He knew he could have thrown more punches, but he also knew Abell was defenseless, so he kissed him instead? Teddy Atlas complimented him on the gentlemanly gesture, but back in the booth Brian Kenny criticized Arreola for exhibiting bad sportsmanship. It seemed like an innocent reaction on Chris' part that was not intended as an insult to Abell or anyone else.

All in all, the win doesn't prove a whole lot for Arreola. He wanted to demonstrate to his fans and critcs that he is a changed fighter, that he is more dedicated and disciplined. But, he never had the chance with the quick TKO. He did come into the fight at 249, but he hardly looked cut. So, most of the same questions remain, but for him it's a step in the right direction. For Joey, it might be the end of the line. He's twenty-nine years old with a record that many of his critics felt was puffed up. They always wondered about his chin, and now will most certainly being saying, "I told you so". The sport of boxing can deal some cruel blows, and not all of them come in the ring.

The undercard pitted undefeated Mike Dallas, Jr. against veteran Josesito Lopez in a ten round junior welterweight fight. Dallas was the favorite because of his speed and quickness, but Lopez was thought by many to have a good chance because of his experience against much tougher opponents.

The fight started out ugly with both fighters on the canvas in the first round because of mutual "take down" attempts. Toward the end of the round, there was a clash of heads resulting in a bad cut to the inside corner area of Lopez' left eye. The cut was a bleeder.

Lopez planned to apply pressure and attempt to get to Dallas' body, but Dallas would over react to just about everything Lopez tried, so it meant lots of collisions with shoulders, heads, etc. It also meant that Lopes was missing over the top with his punches, especially his right. As a result, Dallas was getting hit on the back of the head, and it seemed to bother him quite a bit, so much so that he complained to the referee on several occasions. However, the referee was not sympathetic because he thought Dallas was bending and turning into the shots, which included one hard left to his right kidney. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. gave him a time out to recover from that one. Mentally though, he didn't seem to recover from Lopez' rough tactics. He seemed to want more help from Referee Caiz, Jr. that wasn't forthcoming.

Dallas repeatedly tried to land his big weapon, an uppercut, but Lopez managed to block or deflect it most of the time. Dallas might have won the first round, and managed to stay close for much of the rest of the fight, but he was hurt several times with inside straight right hands.

However, the beginning of the end came with a looping left hook that Dallas did not see. His wobbly legs immediately told the story. Lopez managed to follow up with a good hard straight jab that further hurt Dallas. Caiz, Jr. felt he was helpless, so he stepped in and stopped the fight at 1:47 seconds of the 7th Round, so Lopez pulled off a minor upset and walked away with the vacant NABF Title.

Article posted on 29.01.2011

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