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What Next for Arreola?

Chris ArreolaBy Dave Lahr: Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola (27-1, 24 KO’s) gave it his all last Saturday night against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko but in the end, Arreola didn’t have the size or the talent to beat the big 6’8” Klitschko brother. All is not lost, however, because Arreola showed a lot of heart in losing and seemed to win of fans as well in losing the fight.

Arreola might have been beaten badly in being outclassed in the 10th round stoppage, but he probably lasted a lot longer than most of the top 10 heavyweight contenders in the division would have. The loss showed some areas where Arreola is good – namely his chin, body punching and left hook – and then equally displayed areas where Arreola needs a lot of work – his weight, and fight strategy.

Arreola will no doubt look at the fight and learn from it for future reference against other fighters in the division. But right now, the question is how will Arreola respond to this defeat. One hopes that he doesn’t retreat into a life filled with gorging massive amounts of food, drinking mass quantities of beer and putting on a lot of weight. If that happens, I have my doubts whether Arreola will ever regain his form from last year where he was weighing 240, looking good and mowing down his opposition.

He’s put on weight since then and come in over 250 in his last several bouts, including his fight against Klitschko. Arreola needs to dedicate himself to his training and not take away from the gym, rewarding himself with food. I didn’t like the way that Arreola was stuffing food down his throat during the pre-fight portion of the HBO telecast last Saturday.

Arreola was putting the good down and saying something along the lines that he deserves to play hard. That’s not the right mind frame Arreola needs if he wants to stay in condition and be a factor in the heavyweight division. Just because he works out hard, doesn’t mean he can stuff anything he wants down his pie hole.

For a fighter that has the tendency like him to out on weight, he doesn’t need to see it as reward type thing where he feels justified to slam food down his throat. I like eating food, but I’m not going to start slamming food with the excuse that I work out.

Arreola will always have weight problems if he has that kind of approach and as he ages, he’s going to get bigger and bigger to the point where he’ll have to kill himself just to make 270. We’re already seeing that seems to be struggling to get to chunky 250. It’ll get worse than this, believe me, if he keeps pounding that food like there’s no tomorrow.

My suggestion is to have someone live with Arreola for the next six months, managing everything that he eats to make sure he doesn’t raid the refrigerator or start downing beers one after another. I would have some heavy duty chains and locks installed on the refrigerator and cabinets with possibly some sensor alarms hidden to pick up jarring movement when the locks are tampered with. At the same time, Arreola needs to be going on daily runs and working out at the gym daily to try and keep his weight below 260, if possible.

I would then try to line Arreola up with a fight against one of the better heavyweights in the division like Denis Boytsov or Odlanier Solis. Arreola needs to be fighting quality strictly opponents. No more B class fighters like he’s been consisting on up until the Klitschko bout.

If Arreola can continue to work out, not eating like a hog and take on good opponents, I would recommend that he be put in against one of the heavyweight champions, hopefully someone like David Haye, if he beats WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev on November 7th.

I think that’s a winnable fight for Arreola. He could just walk through Haye’s shots and take him out in a round or two with a big left hook to the head. Once Arreola has the WBA title, he then could look towards fighting a unification bout against IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. I’d have him stay away from Vitali, because he clearly has Arreola’s number and would probably still be able to beat Arreola 20 years from now.

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