Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola fought in Mexico for the first time last night in front of a big crowd in Leon, trouncing Raphael Butler in three rounds and continuing his audition to be a Klitschko challenger for a second time.
"It was a pleasure to be fighting here in Mexico. I had a great ovation from the fans here. I can't wait to come back in the future," Arreola said after the fight, which featured Butler hitting the canvas repeatedly.
Arreola (34-2, 29 KO) met little resistance from Butler (35-12, 28 KO), an American journeyman who had in his last two been taken out by Tye Fields (TKO-6) and David Price (TKO-1) on the road in Canada and England.
Butler, 27, was put down twice in the first round, and early in the second, while swinging wildly with Arreola, was dropped a third time. Butler, so in the moment, bounced up immediately and began to fight again before the referee restrained him. For the rest of the second round, Arreola pressured Butler, who did throw hard punches back, and ripped the Mexican-American with a big right uppercut, which momentarily got Arreola's attention. That didn't last, as Arreola again cornered Butler and unloaded with a flurry of shots.
In the third, Arreola put the fight away. A left hook sent Butler back about 30 seconds into the round, and Arreola once again rained down blows in the corner. Butler crumbled again, complained of a rabbit punch, and the fight was stopped. Butler didn't agree with the stoppage, but the referee was just doing his job. It was the fourth knockdown of the fight and Butler, while he was throwing back, was not in the fight.
It may not have been the prettiest win for Arreola, but Arreola doesn't win pretty. He doesn't have those gorgeous punches that land right on the button and turn the lights out. He's just a strong, determined fighter, unafraid to let his hands go, and unafraid to be hit.
Butler, to his credit, came to fight. He just couldn't stay on his feet.
After the fight, Arreola had something much bigger on his mind.
"Hopefully I'll get another go with one of these Klitschkos," he said. "I'll be ready for either one of those brothers. I've been working my ass off, I'm ready to go after those titles."