Chris Arreola, the popular Mexican-American heavyweight contender, has pulled out of a scheduled June 23 bout on Showtime, with an unspecified injury. The fight was set to kick off the Victor Ortiz vs Josesito Lopez headlined card from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Arreola was reportedly set to face semi-retired Mike Mollo, so while the loss of that matchup isn't exactly heartbreaking, it's not good that it's mid-June and Arreola has fought only once this year, a one-round knockout of Eric Molina in February.
This is a guy, remember, whose weight issues in the past have been a very big issue, and in 2011, the decision was made to keep him highly-active to try and curb his putting on weight between fights. He fought five times last year, and while none of the opponents were very tough challenges for him, that's a lot for a name fighter in today's boxing world.
Arreola (35-2, 30 KO) is expected by many close to the situation to face world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko later this year. Both sides have expressed interest and it's definitely a fight that's worth money, particularly if Wladimir is hung up on the idea of fighting in the United States for the first time since 2008. A fight with Arreola in California would be ideal for that.
Hopefully we'll see Chris get back in the ring soon and keep himself running, even if it's a tune-up as this would have been. The last thing I want to happen is Arreola out for an extended period and coming into something like a Wladimir fight not at 100%, due to conditioning issues, ring rust, or both.