Klitschko breaks down Arreola
Ringside by Francisco Salazar and Edgar Gonzales
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Vitaly Klitschko predicted the bout was not going to go the distance. He was correct, but what he did not count on, was the heart of his challenger, Chris Arreola.
Although Klitschko got the stoppage victory after the 10th round at Staples Center in Los Angeles, before 14,556 on Saturday night, it was Arreola who walked out of the ring with more respect than before he entered.
With the victory, Klitschko retains the WBC world heavyweight world title.
The bout headlined a six-bout “No Mercy” card, presented by K2 Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions.
The fight was built up as a battle of hard-hitting titans where both predicted that the bout would not go the distance. Also, the possibility of Arreola becoming the first heavyweight champion of the world of Mexican descent brought media coverage from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
A height and reach disadvantage along with boxing analysts pointing to Arreola’s inexperience to that of Klitschko’s were the reasons few predicted Arreola would pull off the upset.
Still, it did not deter the thousands in attendance to support Arreola, who grew up about 10 minutes away in East Los Angeles. Those cheering on Arreola in attendance drowned out the Klitschko supporters, waving the yellow and light blue flags of the Ukraine.
It was all Klitschko in the first three rounds of the bout. Klitschko boxed and countered an advancing Arreola, landing right hands to the head. Klitschko stayed on the outside as Arreola worked from the center of the ring.
Arreola was more aggressive to start the fourth round. His aggression was rewarded as he landed hard right hands to the head, which Klitschko took well.
However, the rally was short-lived as Klitschko controlled the action in the fifth round. Klitschko mixed in uppercuts and right hands to the body. Undeterred, Arreola kept moving forward, hoping to pin Klitschko against the ropes and getting on the inside to land punches.
Arreola rallied again in the eighth round, landing a series of jabs to the head of Klitschko. Arreola landed a right hand to the body that looked as though it bothered Klitschko. Undaunted, Klitschko came back to land to the head of Arreola, who began to bleed from the nose.
Klitschko asserted his dominance in the ninth and tenth rounds. Klitschko landed hard right hands, followed by left hooks to the head. Arreola did not look visibly hurt, but he began to slow down in these rounds and was hit more often.
It was at the end of the 10th round that Arreola’s longtime trainer, Henry Ramirez, told referee John Schorle to stop the bout.
CompuBox numbers had Klitschko landing 301 out of 802 total punches, connecting at 38 percent. Arreola threw 331 total punches, only connecting on 86 of them for a connect rate of 26 percent.
“Arreola gave a good performance tonight and he has a great chin,” said Klitschko immediately after the fight had ended. “I was surprised that he did not come out for the 11th round. This was a hard fight as I expected. He’s a tough fighter, but I was hurting him a lot, especially to the body.”
Although Arreola had stated that he would fight to the end, it was a good call by Ramirez to stop the fight and see Arreola fight another day.
“He was taking too much punishment,” said Ramirez, who has been in his corner since his professional debut.
Understandably, Arreola was disappointed and broke down in tears in the ring. He apologized to his fans in attendance, a testament to his respect to his fans who have stuck by him.
“I really wanted to be a world champion,” said Arreola, who has a reputation of never being shy in front of a microphone. “He did what he was supposed to do. I couldn’t reach him. He’s just a big fighter.”
Klitschko, from Los Angeles, by way of the Ukraine, improves to 38-2, 37 KOs. Arreola, from Riverside, drops to 27-1, 24 KOs. – Francisco Salazar
Banks defeats Mora
Johnathon Banks (22-1-0 15KO's) has been Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko's sparring partner for years, but this time he was the co-main event, against Javier Mora (22-5-1, 18KO's) from Anaheim, CA.
Banks didn't waste any time and started to pound away from the opening bell. By the second round, Mora was playing defense but was able to land a few powerful overhand rights that shook Banks.
In the third round, Mora continued where he left off, taking control of the fight. By the fourth, Banks was being forced to step back as Mora swung away looking for that home run shot. Banks, however, was able to push Mora back with his jabs.
As the rounds continued, both fighters took turns pedaling back, as the crowd booed for action. Mora started to mock Banks by flopping his arms like a chicken. That was enough for Banks to step up his game and was able to land 3-4 punch combinations to steal the rounds.
By the sixth and seventh both fighters were exchanging a minimal amount of punches, and the crowd cheered in hopes to see fireworks. Banks was able to land a few combinations during the 10- second counts, just enough to take the rounds through the scheduled eight.
Mora's performance wasn't enough to impress any of the judges. Scores were 79-73, 78-74 and 76-76 all in favor of Banks. —Edgar Gonzales
Molina KO’s Hinojosa in one
Lightweight John Molina remained unbeaten with a first round stoppage victory over Efren Hinojosa in a scheduled eight-round bout.
Molina came out aggressively from the opening bell, taking the fight to Hinojosa. A right cross to the body hurt Hinojosa. As Hinojosa was on his way down, Molina landed a left uppercut to the top of the head. Referee Tony Crebs counted Hinojosa out at 34 seconds of the round.
It was an impressive, albeit short performance from the up and coming Molina, who has stopped his last five opponents in a row.
“My plan was to come aggressively and make a statement,” said Molina, who is promoted by Dan Goossen. “He went nine rounds with Robert Guerrero. I wanted to show that I can take him out sooner.”
Molina, from Covina, CA, improves to 18-0, 14 KOs. Hinojosa, from Lakeside, CA by way of Mexico City, DF, Mexico. – Francisco Salazar
Sanchez stops Mendoza
Featherweight Salvador Sanchez dropped Trinidad Mendoza twice, the final time for good in the third round of a scheduled six round bout.
Much has been publicized recently about Sanchez as he claims to be the nephew of the great Salvador Sanchez. Although he does not sport the glamorous record the Hall of Fame fighter had, Sanchez still is hoping to make a name for himself.
The shorter Mendoza took the fight to Sanchez and was actually able to land counter punches inside of Sanchez’ defense. However, Sanchez began to slowly wear down the tough Mendoza.
Sanchez was able to score a knockdown in the second round with a left hook to the body. Mendoza went down to one knee then stood up, then went back down to one knee. He was able to stand at seven and fought on the rest of the round.
Sanchez finished Mendoza in the next round with a straight right followed by a left hook to the body. Mendoza went down to one knee and watched referee Jack Reiss count him out at 1:23 of the round.
Sanchez, from Tianguistenco, Mexico, Mexico, improves to 14-3-2, 8 KOs. Mendoza, from Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, falls to 28-25-2, 23 KOs. – Francisco Salazar
Boswell kayos Salif
On short notice, Cisse Salif from Las Vegas, replaced Alexander Ustinov, due to Ustinov having visa issues in a heavyweight bout against veteran Cedric Boswell (31-1, 24 KOs) from Atlanta.
Boswell was in command from the opening bell while Salif (23-16, 21 KOs) was able to land a few quick jabs, but it was Boswell’s speed that was dominating the fight.
Boswell won a lopsided unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 80-72. —Edgar Gonzales
Ramos dominates Guardia
Rico Ramos won a unanimous decision over faded former champion Kermin Guardia in a six-round featherweight bout.
Ramos was stronger and bigger fighter, dwarfing the former Minimumweight champion of the world. However, Guardia was able to hold his own in the beginning of the fight. Both fighters boxed and sized each other up in the first two rounds. Ramos began to land harder shots in the third round.
Ramos dominated the final two rounds, catching Guardia with vicious counter right hands to the head. Guardia almost went down with moments left in the final round, as Ramos rained down hard combinations. However, Guardia was able to survive and make it until the final bell.
All three judges had Ramos winning the fight, with scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55. Fightnews.com scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Ramos.
Ramos, from Los Angeles, CA, improves to 13-0, 8 KOs. Guardia, from Antioquia, Colombia, drops to 37-10, 20 KOs. – Francisco Salazar
- It was a star-studded even as numerous personalities were in attendance. Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Statham, Kobe Bryant, Pete Rose, Mike Tyson, Hayden Pantierre, and super welterweight contender Victor Ortiz took in the action from ringside.
- As is customary amongst the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir accompanied Vitaly to the ring and worked his corner.
- Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, and Emanuel Steward called the action for HBO’s World Championship Boxing.
- HBO commentator Larry Merchant told the assembled media that the HBO research team found that a Mexican once fought for a Heavyweight title. Manuel Ramos challenged Joe Frazier in 1968, but was knocked out in the second round.
- Michael Buffer was the ring announcer for the Klitschko-Arreola bout. Mike Hart handled the non-televised undercard.