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Klitschko stops Arreola in 10 rounds!

Vitali Klitschko TKO10 Cristobal Arreola...WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko turned in a crafty and methodical performance,  retaining  his title with a tenth round TKO of previously undefeated Cristobal Arreola on Saturday night at Staples Center.  Klitschko was tactically in control of the fight from the sound of the opening bell, using lateral movement, left jabs, and right hands to keep the shorter Arreola at bay. 
As the rounds progressed, Klitschko's right hand was beginning to find its mark more and more frequently as he had bloodied Arreola's nose by the seventh round.  Throughout the fight, HBO ring side analyst Larry Merchant commented that the 38 year old Klitschko was performing much like a 34 year old fighter, as a result of the four years he was inactive from the ring product of the chronic injuries he had previously suffered in training. Klitschko's height and reach advantage really caused young Arreola quite a predicament, just as was the case for previous Klitschko victims.

At the end of round ten, a round in which Dr. Iron Fist painted Arreola's face and body with heavy right hand punishment, referee Jon Schorle advised Arreola's corner that he was stopping the contest. Arreola immediately responded with an emotional teary-eyed break down, feeling embarrassed not only by the fact that he believes he disappointed his Mexican California fans, but that he had lost via stoppage. The heart, courage, and relentless effort that Arreola displayed in the fight was quite impressive, given his limited experience and lack of sufficient physical attributes in the professional heavyweight ranks, as that is all that Arreola was able to bring into this fight with him.

Throughout the fight, this reporter recalls himself thinking, "I have much more respect for this guy now than I ever did before." He was able to last a few rounds longer than I expected [Boxingchronicles.com predicted a 7th round knockout for Klitschko]. Afterwards, Arreola's emotions had gotten the better of him, as he broke down into tears during the post-fight interview with Merchant and apologized to his Mexican fans who were in attendance. Arreola stated, through the sobbing, "He ran when he had to. He knew how to win. I knew he was f***ing me up, but f*** that, I'll be back."

Such a sad and pitiful display was coming from a man who has previously portrayed himself as a foul mouthed gangster before and after his fights prior to his defeat at the hands of Klitschko. One would not expect such a tough guy to have any business balling his eyes out on national television following a defeat. Nonetheless, young Arreola will be back and possibly even better than before as a result of this learning experience. Not every body Arreola faces is going to be as skilled or physically gifted as the Klitschko brothers.

When analyzing the talent, ability, and current status of the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, the younger Wladimir appears to be the more accomplished of the two champions. Wladimir is the Klitschko brother who has beaten all of the top contenders at heavyweight, regardless of the quality of the era it happened in. Wladimir gave Samuel Peter his first loss back in September of 2005 when he was perceived as a threat as well as the heavyweight division's greatest hope.

Wladimir also defeated defending IBF champion Chris Byrd [who at the time was considered the best American heavyweight, as well as arguably the best heavyweight in the world), gave contender Calvin Brock his first loss, gave undefeated WBO titlist Sultan Ibragimov is first loss in January of 2008, and handed Ruslan Chagaev his first defeat earlier this year. Just about all of those titlists and contenders were top five, maybe top ten, contenders in the heavyweight division. Such victories have propelled Wladmir into the status of universally recognized heavyweight champion of the world, particularly in the eyes of those at Ring Magazine.

The fighting styles of the Klitschko brothers are some what similar. Wladimir has the stiffer left jab and he is a bit more stationary, whereas Vitali is a little looser and moves around the ring more than his younger brother. Vitali has the more evasive style, but there is no question that he is more durable than Wladimir. Both brothers are pretty good.

Who exactly can beat Vitali Klitschko, and what style would it take to defeat the gifted giant? Logic says it is going to take someone who is comparable to Vitali in size, or at least pretty close, and has fundamental boxing skills with the stiff jab to set Vitali up for the big shots. Arreola kept trying to jab his way in but could never find the range to drop the right hand in behind. Left hand, left hand, that's all Arreola was capable of.

television: HBO World Championship Boxing
photo courtesy: chippewa.com

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