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Arreola and Klitschko: Will Vitali Break Down Under the strain

By Dave Lahr: WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs) will be making his second defense of his World Boxing Council title on September 26th, against one of the most aggressive and hardest punchers in the heavyweight division in the young 28-year-old Chris Arreola (27-0, 24 KO’s) at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Say what you want about Arreola looking less than svelte in appearance, he can really punch and throw combinations better than most, if not all, the top heavyweights in the division. That’s not good news if you’re the 38-year-old Klitschko, because the Ukrainian hasn’t seen much action in the past five years because of a four-year retirement.

With so much time off and a history of debilitating injuries, there’s a real danger that Klitschko will literally fall apart if Arreola puts him under pressure for a full 12 rounds. Vitali has had two relatively easy fights against Samuel Peter and Juan Carlos Gomez since making his comeback last year, and neither Peter nor Gomez put much if any pressure on the huge Klitschko. Arreola will likely keep Vitali very busy, though, by attacking him with a constant flow of power shots.

That’s not because Arreola is using that as a specific strategy to beat Klitschko, but mostly because that is how Arreola always fights. He’s smart enough to know that he shouldn’t mess with what got him this title shot in the first place, so boxing fans can expect plenty of two-way action in this fight on September 26th.

It could end early if Klitschko is worn down by Arreola’s thunderous shots or if Arreola gets hurt by one of Klitschko’s big right hands. However, Arreola seems to have the advantage in that his offense is much more varied than Klitschko’s attacks.

Arreola will be using hooks, uppercuts and overhand lefts and rights to do most of his damage. You can forget about him wasting time with his jab, because he doesn’t have much of one and typically focuses mainly on throwing power shots only. Klitschko, on the other hand, is mostly a jab, right hand, left hook and that’s about it.

There’s not much in the way of variety coming from Vitali. His work rate is typically low and he can be outworked if he’s facing an opponent like Arreola that lets his hands go. But Vitali is hard to hit in the head because he like to lean backwards to avoid head shots. This is why it’s important for Arreola to go after Klitschko’s body to try and straighten him out and force him to fight in an upright mode rather than leaning back.

Arreola has to fight as hard as he can for at least seven rounds, because anything beyond that range and we may see Arreola running out of gas because of his weight problems. Arreola might not need more than seven rounds to get Vitali to wear down, because he’s like an old car that hasn’t been taken up to high speeds for some time. If Arreola can get Vitali fighting at top speed, something is likely to blow out sooner or later.

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