The evidence was clearly visible. Former champion and future hall of famer Rafael Marquez exhibited telltale behavior long before he was put down in the ninth round. Prior to the TKO stoppage, Rafael wandered off to the wrong corner at the end of at least two rounds! He tried to make it look like he did so intentionally. But, as we later found out, his brain wasn’t functioning properly.
Up until that point the fight still appeared close. One judge and Showtime analyst Steve Farhood had the fight a draw. After the stoppage, doctors didn’t like what they were seeing. As a result, they had a stabilizing collar placed around Rafael’s neck, placed him on a gurney and rushed him to the hospital.
The punch that caused Rafael’s problems was a straight right from Efrain Esquivias. It wasn’t a particularly hard punch, but it was timed right and was accurate. The aging Rafael, who hadn’t fought in almost a year, was seriously hurt by the punch. In fact, he had been hit by a lot of straight rights, and the accumulative effect undoubtedly caused Rafael to wander to the wrong corner. That same punch finally dropped him in the ninth round. We hope and pray the future hall of famer is alright.
In the main event, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola pretty much put an end to any hope Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell had of ever fighting for a title. Showtime ringside announcer Paulie Malignaggi commented that referee Jack Reiss had no choice but to stopped the fight because Mitchell couldn’t defend himself after getting dropped by an Arreola shot. The truth his Mitchell wasn’t able to defend himself from the opening bell. He is slow moving and also when it comes to hand speed. He managed to tag Chris a few times, but that was it. The end was near, so near that Mitchell never saw the second round. Stoppage came at 2:26 of the first round.
In the post-fight interview, the still flabby Arreola once again claimed he “worked his ass off” in the Arizona desert. The quick victory reinvigorated his hope for another title shot. But, the truth is he didn’t look that much different. Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, CA provided Chris’ wish for an easy target. Seth Mitchell was never really in the fight. It showed on his face as he walked down the aisle to the ring. His expression was that of a person unsure of himself. In the pre-fight interview, he promised to employ a better defense than in past fights. He knew The Nightmare that he was about to face was a hard puncher. But, he just didn’t have the goods. Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell’s frightening dream came in the form of a flabby 242 lb. man, someone who was about to change his anxiety into terror.
The scary Arreola soon managed to blast through Mitchell’s guard with just about every punch he threw. About the only thing he didn’t land was a body shot. There was no need, because each head shot made Mitchell’s bubble go off center. After getting clubbed to the canvas, Seth rose to take more punishment, and that’s when referee Jack Reiss agreed with Paulie’s opinion that Mitchell couldn’t defend himself.
Don’t get your hopes up about Arreola, though. He hasn’t changed or improved much. He might think so, because of the quick ending Saturday night, but the truth is he appears much the same. His broken nose might have been repaired, but the torments that bring him misery remain. His inability to fully understand what getting in shape really means is his worst enemy. As long as the Klitschko brothers hang around, Chris’ chances of grabbing a legitimate world title remain nothing more than a dream.