December 5, 2008

Can Cristobal Arreola make history? Yes he can

By Steve Galindo III

Cristobal The Nightmare Arreola’s dream of becoming the first Heavyweight Champion of Mexican ancestry is quickly becoming reality. His successful defeat of Travis “Freight Train” Walker last Saturday night at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California is just one if the many steps Arreola is taking towards solidifying his status as America’s top heavyweight.

It took only three rounds for Arreola (26-0-23 KOs) to derail the freight train, but the match was every bit the war that Arreola had envisioned it would be before the fight. In round one, Cristobal found out exactly why Travis Walker is called the freight train, as the nightmare was caught off track by Walker’s barrage of body shots and uppercuts which stunned the 6’4, 254 pound beast from Riverside. Walker consistently beat Arreola to the punch in the first round, throwing an astounding 106 punches en route to winning the round.

In round two, Arreola’s nightmare became a reality, compliments of a straight right hand by Walker which sent Arreola crashing down to one knee. Feeling a sense of urgency, Cristobal arose from the canvas and unleashed a flurry of punches, which momentarily sustained Walker. Midway through the round, a left hook by Arreola would change the momentum of the fight by stopping a dazed Walker in his tracks. Smelling blood, Arreola would go on to pounce on Walker, knocking him down two times in the round. 13 seconds into round three, Arreola would again call on the left hook to send Walker to the canvas for the third and final time in the fight. The knockdown prompted referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout, and marked the sixth straight fight in which Arreola has stopped an opponent within three rounds.

In defeating a top ten opponent in Travis Walker, Arreola kept his undefeated record intact. More importantly, Cristobal showed the grit, desire, and heart that have captured the imagination of American boxing fans who are pinning their hopes on The Nightmare to resurrect the heavyweight division. Arreola and his promoter Dan Goosen, hope that last Saturday’s performance was enough to win the admiration of Mexican fans as well.

Cristobal “the nightmare” Arreola as Uncle Sam drawn by artist Arthuro Baro prior to the Nov.29 bout in an attempt to make Mexican fans aware of Arreola’s attempt to make history.


Marketing to Mexicans

While The Nightmare has built a following with American boxing fans, Cristobal has remained virtually unknown within the Mexican community. A large part has to do with the fact that Arreola has been showcased primarily on premium cable channels such as HBO, and Showtime which charge extra to access its programming.

For the fight with Walker, Goosen got it right as he made an effort to have Cristobal appeal to the Mexican public. On fight night Arreola walked to the ring accompany by the sounds of a full Mariachi band, a move reserved for fighters that hail from Mexico. After the fight, Cristobal addressed the fans in Spanish, and even said that he would plan on celebrating by taking in a bowl of menudo (Mexican soup).

Selling Arreola and his story to the Mexican media, and public might be tough. Mexicans do not tend to embrace Mexican-American fighters with open arms, just ask Oscar De La Hoya. As actor Edward James Olmos so rightfully put it in the movie Selena, “Being Mexican-American is tough. We got to be more Mexican than the Mexicans, and more American than the Americans, both at the same time... it’s exhausting!”

EL GRAN CHISME

Nothing “terrible” about what Terry is doing.

I recently had the chance to catch up with Hall of Fame fighter, and San Diego favorite, “Terrible” Terry Norris, at a local boxing show. Terry said he has been enjoying life since retiring from the ring. Norris is excited about upcoming business ventures including starting his own record company. Although he admits that he doesn’t keep up with boxing, he finds time to check out the local amateur boxing scene. Norris is dedicated to helping local amateur fighters attain the same success that he did. He is putting together a team of local amateur fighters that will compete in Canada in the upcoming weeks. Any local amateurs interested should contact terrynorris.net.

Mosley in eye of Tornado

The much talked about match up between Sugar Shane Mosley, and The Tijuana Tornado Antonio Margarito is on. The fight has been finalized for January 24th and will be taking place at The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Negotiations had broken down a couple of weeks ago when Margarito was reportedly unhappy about the two million dollar purse that was offered to him, but cooler heads prevailed and the Tijuana Tornado is now ready for the challenge. According to reports, regardless of the outcome, Margarito is still scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto in a rematch next June.

Cupid Beware

Unable to land a fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Mex-icali’s own Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo will take a big step up in his professional career by agreeing to fight “El Matador” Ricardo Mayorga. The fight is scheduled for St. Valentines Day 2009. “I’m going to leave forget-me-knots all over his nicotine- stained face” Angulo stated.

Darchinyan: “Arce will be my human piñata”

Vic Darchinyan’s WBC, WBA, and IBF titles will be on the line, when he battles El Travieso Jorge Arce on February 7, 2009. Arce will be looking to avenge the loss of his fellow Mexican Cristian Mijares

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