(Managing Editor’s Note: Chris O’Brien is our newest Feature Writer at RSR. I, along with the rest of the team welcome him aboard.)
Chris Arreola will aim to get his bid to win a recognized version of the heavyweight title back on track this Saturday as he faces Polish hard man and former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion of the World Tomasz Adamek at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena for the lightly-regarded IBF International belt.
Arreola boasts a stunning and explosive record.
Of his 28 victories, 25 have come by way of knockout. He has claimed two victories by disqualification – meaning Arreola has gone the distance only once. That was a six-round unanimous decision win over unknown journeyman Andrew Greeley.
It’s Arreola’s amazing ability to score knockdowns that has so often seen him hailed as a tremendous prospect. However, having turned 29 in March, the time has come for him to start beating some of the division’s bigger names to prove his credentials.
Arreola was beaten for the first time in the biggest fight of his career last September. Though critics have often accused him of looking out-of-shape, he bravely took ten rounds of punishment against Vitali Klitschko before trainer Henry Ramirez threw in the towel.
Vitali utilized his formidable hard jab to retain the WBC crown and, though Arreola was furious that the bout had been stopped, success for the Ukrainian rarely looked in doubt.
It is not only that brutal loss to the elder Klitschko that has blemished Arreola’s record, however. It is also somewhat tarnished by the fact that his win record is hardly littered with star turns. Less than three years ago, Arreola was fighting the likes of Cliff Couser (now 26-21-2) and Derek Berry (who retired after the bout at 12-9-1).
Only months before the Klitchko bout, Arreola had to pick himself up off the canvas before beating the largely unheralded Travis Walker.
Certainly, Arreola still has plenty to prove.
In Adamek, he now faces a hugely testing bout. Though Arreola has scored plenty of knockdowns against heavyweight also-rans, the 33-year-old’s Pole boasts a granite chin that is well accustomed to taking some huge shots. He was floored twice, however, in the light-heavyweight ranks.
Arreola will take heart from Adamek’s inexperience at this level.
He only stepped up to Heavyweight in 2009 – beating former world title challenger, Andrew “The Foul Pole” Golota to win the IBF International crown.
Earlier this year, he defended the belt in front of 10,000 fans in New Jersey against 2009 Pan American Games Gold Medalist Jason Estrada. This bout is Adamek’s chance to prove that he belongs with those topping 200+ pounds on the scales.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Saturday is potentially a career-defining bout for both fighters.
Success for Chris Arreola would not only leave him with the a “stepping stone” title, but put the fighter in a position to negotiate big pay-days and big name fights in a heavyweight division that doesn’t boast too many legitimate contenders.
Victory for Adamek, meanwhile, would underline his ability to compete with some of the bigger heavyweight names. Though he has a sound cruiserweight record, his win against Estrada was hardly a headline-grabber so Adamek too has plenty to prove.
He will be desperate to seize his chance against Arreola.
After years of mediocrity, David Haye’s much-hyped win over then WBA Heavyweight World Champion, Nikolay Valuev and his explosive victory over former 2-Time WBA Heavyweight Champion, John Ruiz have leased new life into the division.
The winner of this bout can expect to play a potentially significant role in the revitalized heavyweight ranks, while the loser will be left with a mountain to climb.
It promises to be an intriguing bout this Saturday night – but who will come out victorious?
It’s over to you guys!