Can Arreola pull off an Upset against Klitschko?
By Jason Kim: It’s been a long time since WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has had an opponent that could fight him on even terms. The main reason is that the heavyweight division has been so atrocious the past six years since Lennox Lewis retired in 2003. That’s left Klitschko, and his brother Wladimir, with few top level heavyweights to compete with all these years. Klitschko has done his part beating down the average opposition that has been put in with him, but most of the fights have been dull, one-sided affairs for the most part and not the type of fights that have won Klitschko many new fans.
On Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the 38-year-old Klitschko was to face arguably the toughest heavyweight in the United States in 28-year-old Arreola.
There’s a lot of questions that still remain about Arreola and whether he can stand up to the power shots of the big 6’8″ Klitschko since Arreola has been hurt in his last two fights against Travis Walker and Jameel McCline. Can Arreola’s chin stand up to the big right hands that Klitschko will be raining down on him for 12 rounds or will Arreola quickly be beaten into submission.
In both of Arreola’s fights in which he has been hurt, he’s come back to score a knockout a round or two later. Will Arreola be able to do that against Klitschko who is known for having a great chin? If Arreola isn’t able to knock Klitschko down or hurt him with any of his big shots, then he’ll need a plan B to use to get the win by decision. The only that Arreola can do that is to outwork the bigger Klitschko.
In Arreola’s past few fights, his work rate has been an area of concern for him. He doesn’t tend to throw a lot of punches. Arreola will have to be able to do that against Klitschko if he wants to pull out a decision because he doesn’t have a great jab to fall back on like some fighters do. Arreola’s bread butter is his big right hand and left hook. If those don’t have any effect on Klitschko, then he’s going to need to outwork Klitschko somehow.
That won’t be easy because Klitschko is hard to hit and backs away when attacked. Arreola will have to keep pursuing bit Vitali around the ring for the full 12 rounds, not give him any space to use his jab and short left hooks. If Arreola can smother Klitschko for the full 12 rounds, then I can see Chris winning the fight. But he’s going to have to make sure that Klitschko doesn’t get any punching room because when he’s allowed to load up on his right hands from a distance, he’s lethal.
At close range, Klitschko is less effective because he doesn’t really have an uppercut. He throws one, to be sure, but it’s awkward looking and doesn’t have much power on it. Arreola can mug Klitschko if he stays in close and leans on him.
It might be the only way for Arreola to avoid getting hit by Klitschko’s big right hands and left hooks. If Arreola can tire him out, he can come on around the 8th round and start landing big shots and maybe Klitschko fall. Arreola will have to stay on his game plan because if he slips up and gives Klitschko room, this may be over very quickly.