Vitali Klitschko Retains His Belt With A Resounding Victory Over Arreola

September 27, 2009

Los Angeles, California -- So much for history.

In a one-sided rout in front of 14,556 deafening fans at the Staples Center on Saturday night, Vitali Klitschko used his superior height and reach to defeat a game, but overmatched Cris Arreola via a 10th round TKO.

The victory improved Klitschko's record to 38-2 (37 KO's), and allowed him to retain his grip on the WBC Heavyweight Championship belt. He also became the first fighter in Staples Center history to headline three fights at the arena.

Arreola, meanwhile, fell short in his quest to become history's first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. He dropped to 27-1 with the loss.

Klitschko methodically broke Arreola down over the course of the fight by patiently staying on the outside, getting off first in the exchanges, and then circling away from trouble.

With his reach advantage, Klitschko peppered his opponent from distance with jabs, left hooks, and stiff overhand rights. The strategy worked to perfection, as a stalking Arreola was unable to effectively get past Klitschko's reach and score on the inside.

In fact, Klitschko was never seriously threatened in the fight, as he confidently held both arms down throughout the bout. Klitschko was able to take such a relaxed approach because his ring generalship limited the geography of the fight to the center of the ring and away from the ropes.

The punch statistics revealed the clear disparity between the two fighters, as Klitschko landed 301 shots to only 86 for Arreola. Of those blows, Klitschko tallied 151 power punches, efficiently connecting on 53% of his power shots. Klitschko also was the busier guy, throwing 802 punches to only 331 for Arreola.

Against the wishes of his fighter, Arreola's trainer, Henry Ramirez, elected to stop the bout after the conclusion of Round 10. Ramirez reasoned that "he was taking too much punishment."

Ramirez also mentioned that "when I stopped it, he was irate. This was not an easy thing to do."

Here is our Round-by-Round account of the fight:

Round 1

Prior to the start of Round 1, the atmosphere inside the arena was electric, as fans of both Klitschko and Arreola were loud, enthusiastic, and eager to see some quality action.

Both men began by missing their first few punches. Midway through the round, Klitschko began to hone in on his target, as he strafed Arreola with a 3-punch combination. Klitschko would later score with a couple of nice 1-2 combinations. Arreola missed two jabs near the end of the round.

After one round, Klitschko's reach advantage was obvious, as Arreola had trouble getting inside.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 2

Klitschko began with a jab, then answered an Arreola jab with a 1-2 of his own. Arreola flurried ineffectively on the ropes, then later landed a jab. Klitschko responded with a volume of punches in the form of combinations, a right uppercut, and a left uppercut. He later scored with two more 1-2 combinations.

A pattern emerges, as Arreola must take multiple shots just to fire off one of his own.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 3

Klitschko's shots began to take their toll, as Arreola started to cover up more. This round was more of the same, with Klitschko raining down jabs and hooks from distance, and then circling out of harm's way. Arreola landed a solid counter right hand midway through the round.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 4

Arreola began the round in strong fashion, getting in a right hand and a jab. After a Klitschko 1-2, Arreola then struck again, nailing Klitschko with a jab, a right, and a left hook. Klitschko responded by tagging Arreola with a right hand lead. He later added a left hook and a 1-2 for good measure.

This was Arreola's best round thus far, but Klitschko's strong finish in the final minute nevertheless earned him the round.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 5

After Arreola scored with an early jab, Klitschko unleashed an impressive assault over the round's three minutes. Klitschko threw a variety of 1-2's, including a right hand lead-left hook combo, and a more standard jab-right hand combination. Arreola's work rate seemed to slow in this Klitschko-dominated round.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 6

More of the same Klitschko dominance, as the champ repeatedly got off his jabs and hooks first. Arreola had one clean right hand and one late stiff jab, but otherwise did very little.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 7

Arreola started to get more desperate in this round. He tried to pin Klitschko on the ropes, but the champ tied up Arreola, and the fight was back in the middle of the ring once more. Arreola threw four consecutive jabs, but only one landed. Klitschko then followed his same disciplined formula of circling and throwing jabs and combinations. Midway through the assault, Arreola shook his head in frustration.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 8

After some Klitschko jabs, Arreola landed a jab of his own and tried to force his way inside, but Klitschko quickly tied him up. Arreola scored with a left hook that forced Klitschko immediately back against the ropes. Arreola threw another hook. Klitschko finished with a 1-2.

For once, Arreola's pressure was effective.
Arreola, 10-9

Round 9

Arreola's good work in Round 8 went for naught, as Klitschko quickly regained the momentum with a steady diet of right hands, jabs, and left hooks. Arreola again had difficulty scoring inside.
Klitschko, 10-9

Round 10

More of the same, with Arreola ineffectively stalking the champ, and Klitschko unleashing multiple jabs, hooks, rights.
Klitschko, 10-9

DSH Final Scorecard: Klitschko, 99-91

Post Fight Notes and Comments

1. Judges Ken Morita and Anek Hontongkam both scored the fight 99-91 for Klitschko, giving Arreola only Round 8. Judge Guido Cavalieri scored it 100-89, with all 10 rounds going to Klitschko, including a 10-8 Round 10.

2. An emotional Arreola was in tears after the fight. He stated that he "wanted to go the full 12 rounds," and vowed that "I'm coming back."

Of Klitschko, Arreola said that he "couldn't get to him. Whatever I did, he could counteract that."

3. Klitschko stated after the fight that "this was a hard fight, like I expected. He is a tough fighter. I worked the body, and thought I hurt him a lot, but he has a great, great chin."

He said he was "surprised" Arreola did not come out for the 11th round.

4. Arreola injected some Ricky Hatton-style humor into Friday's weigh-in, as he raised some eyebrows over his conditioning by initially tipping the scales at over 270 pounds. However, moments later, he took off his shirt to reveal a weighted vest underneath. Arreola eventually would weigh in at 251 pounds.

5. On the undercard, young John Molina notched another impressive performance, as he quickly dispatched of opponent Efren Hinojosa 34 seconds into the first round.

6. Also on the undercard, Detroit heavyweight and Kronk gym product Johnathon Banks improved to 22-1 with a majority decision victory over Javier Mora. Banks had a particularly strong 5th round, as he hurt Mora with some good shots on the ropes.

7. The stars were out in force last night, as Mike Tyson, Pete Rose, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, James Toney, Wladimir Klitschko, and Leonardo Dicaprio, were among the many celebrities in attendance. Kobe received the warmest reception, followed by Tyson, and then Rose. Schwarzenegger received a strong negative reaction.

8. I spoke to young, intelligent Golden Boy prospect Victor Ortiz after the fight, and Ortiz stated that he was looking to fight on "December 12th" of this year in either Staples Center or Las Vegas. He was uncertain, however, as to who his next opponent might be.

Ortiz said he has repeatedly sought a rematch with Marcos Maidana, but that Maidana has refused any such fight. When asked if Maidana refused due to a disagreement over the purse split, Ortiz stated that "no, he just doesn't want the fight."

Ortiz then stated that he has been working hard in the gym on some new "stuff" that he hopes to show his fans in December.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor of

Photographs by Tri Le
Photography Editor for

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