Cristobal Arreola will make a quick return to the ring after his September 26 thrashing at the hands of Vitali Klitschko, as it's been confirmed he'll be part of the re-shuffled December 5 HBO card, reports Rick Reeno. Reeno also says that junior middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez is leading the race to land the main event fight with Paul Williams on that night.
While Williams-Martinez could be a very interesting fight, with two tall southpaws matching wits and clashing styles, let's focus right now on Arreola. As expected, Reeno says the chances that Arreola will fight David Tua are slim. Tua made $500,000 for his New Zealand fight with Shane Cameron, and he wouldn't be able to get near that for a fight with Arreola as an HBO co-feature. While it could be a hell of a fight, it's just not a sound economic choice for Tua or the promotion, probably.
Brick mentioned in a thread yesterday that Goossen Tutor could look in-house for an Arreola opponent, which would offer up James Toney, Tony Thompson, Malik Scott and Manuel Quezada as possibilities. I think there's a genuinely good chance Arreola loses to Toney or Thompson, and I think he probably steamrolls Quezada or Scott. Lucky for Arreola, Toney would probably balk at an "opponent's purse," just as Tua would, because in his strange world, James remains a top contender and some sort of draw. Scott has built up a 32-0 record while never jumping in competition, really, and at least you could put that sparkling "0" up there and make it look good. Quezada would probably at least give Arreola a scrap. Thompson, who is tall, tricky, and old, lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 and has little upside; I hesitate to believe Goossen Tutor would give Arreola that kind of a fight if they could avoid it.
But I'm glad we're going to see Arreola back in action so quickly. He took the loss to Vitali hard, but he also immediately said he'd be back, and he seemed quite genuine about that. Turning around and getting back in the ring in a little over two months time shows he's ready to get back in position.