Vitali Klitschko dominated Chris Arreola for 10 rounds before the referee stopped the bout. It was Arreola's first pro loss, and Klitschko's 38th win. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Vitali Klitschko successfully defended his WBC heavyweight title with a one-sided domination of a game Chris Arreola in Los Angeles, stopping Arreola after ten rounds of action when referee Jon Schorle pulled the plug.
Klitschko (38-2, 37 KO) used his jab and superior technical skills to batter Arreola (27-1, 24 KO) for 10 rounds, swelling his face and busting his nose. It was lauded by the HBO team as one of Klitschko's best performances, which is arguable, but Arreola did get something out of Klitschko that isn't normal. Arreola made the older man move and work hard, but in return, Klitschko just threw a ton of punches and landed with great accuracy. He never appeared to have Arreola hurt at any point, but Arreola was barely in the fight if in it at all.
An emotional Arreola wept after the fight was stopped, and also appeared to hurt his left hand at some point during the fight. He shook it and pulled at it (it could also have been his shoulder), and clearly winced at one point after landing a shot.
By CompuBox numbers, you can see how one-sided the action was:
Klitschko: 301/802, 38%
Arreola: 86/331, 26%
Klitschko: 151/283, 53%
Arreola: 24/107, 22%
Arreola, to his credit, absolutely never stopped moving forward or trying to turn the tide. You can even argue with the referee's decision to stop it. Chances are that Klitschko won a wide decision, yes, but the heavyweight division has seen plenty of sudden knockouts at the end of what had been pretty clear fights up to that point. Jim Lampley pointed this out during the action, but Schorle had seen enough.
Klitschko has a mandatory with Oleg Maskaev that he might be forced to take care of next, but more interesting is Arreola's future. Even with the one-sided loss, he did make Klitschko work harder than usual for the win, and he also showed he's tough. He's been down before, but Klitschko never put him on the canvas. Without meaning to offend anyone in his corner, I'd seriously recommend that if Arreola is serious about becoming the man at heavyweight, he might need to go to a bigger, more respected trainer, someone that will really get on him in camp. He's got the talent and the size (though he looked much shorter than 6'4" in there with Vitali), and he's got the guts and the drive once he's in the ring. But as much as he jokes about it, conditioning will always be a problem unless something changes. It's been OK enough to get him past faded guys and mediocre opposition, but here he stepped in against one of the two best in the sport and was pretty well handled.
As Lampley said after the fight, anyone that wants to knock one of the Klitschkos off needs to realize that whether you like them or not, they're two guys to whom fighting is a year-round job. They don't slack off, they don't come in out of shape, and they're always working. They're not the prettiest fighters or even the most naturally skilled, they just work that much harder and have separated themselves from the pack in large part due to their dedication.
Chris Arreola is a fighter who will be back, and likely will someday win a title. He's a gritty, tough guy with a big punch and a lot of heart. There are things he needs to work on obviously, and hopefully he can learn from this fight. And you can't help but like the way he ended his post-fight interview: "F**k that, I'm coming back."