By Mark Felicetti
Staples Center was filled with celebrities for the Klitschko vs. Arreola fight on Saturday night. Kobe Bryant, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger… I didn’t want to talk to him. Pete Rose, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and the Budweiser Girls… I did want to talk to them. Some habits die hard. I did have a short but nice conversation with Mickey Rourke until security caught up to me for hitting on the Bud Girls.
Back in my seat (I gave the “earpiece” the slip), I watched the two fights leading up to the main event. I would give you the names of the boxers in the first bout but the fight was over in less time than it would take to write their names.
The Heavyweight fight just before the main event featured Jonathan Banks and Javier Mora. Mora sports a mohawk that ends in the shape of an arrow over his forehead. Evidently this is a directional arrow pointing out where to land punches. Mora was little more than a target. His trainer’s shirt was the only bright thing from that corner, and it was so colorful it made him look like a snow cone vendor. The ring card girl for round 6 produced more action than Mora did for the entire fight. Banks took the win by a unanimous decision.
Chris Arreola had trained hard and lost over 30 pounds to challenge Vitali Klitschko for his WBC Heavyweight title. Chris is a likable guy but his bag of skills as a boxer is not that big. He does have a good solid punch and a great jaw. He has gotten up off the canvas to come back and pulverize an opponent.
Vitali is on the other side of the spectrum. He is not known for having a granite jaw but he is a very intelligent fighter and has knockout power in both hands. Arreola was overmatched. Although they came in very close to the same weight, Klitschko had a distinct height and reach advantage. Watching them together, Chris looked like a little kid fighting a big bully.
Round after round Arreola kept his gloves up by his ears while he tried to get inside… but he never did. Klitschko threw over 800 punches, more than twice that of Arreola, and he landed more than three times as often. Areola’s face was so swollen he resembled a Shar Pei puppy. It was no wonder that Chris’ trainer stopped the fight before the start of round 11.
Klitschko retained his belt in the TKO victory. Arreola made a tearful apology to his fans, and vowed he would be back. I think he will.
God Bless and leave the Bud Girls alone.