Chris Arreola: "I don't fear Eric Molina"
In the immortal words of Teddy Atlas, "You can try and curb opinion all you want leading up to the fight, but the truth comes to you pretty quickly in the squared circle once that bell rings."
On September 26th, 2009, the truth for heavyweight contender Chris Arreola was personified in the form of the 6'7" Ukrainian and current WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko.
Unfortunately for the American hopeful, Dr. Iron Fist was every bit as dominant as his record and moniker had insinuated. The ring savvy veteran outclassed Chris Arreola for ten grueling rounds and subjugated the previously undefeated heavyweight from pillar to post.
The courageous 30 year old Arreols claims that he learned a very hard lesson that day.
"Mentally, the loss to Vitali Klitschko was devastating," admits Chris Arreola. "As a kid, I had always dreamed of having that green belt. I can remember meeting Julio Cesar Chavez for the first time when I was 9 years old and seeing him holding that beautiful green championship belt. So it had become a dream of mine to get that green belt and become a WBC Champion like Chavez."
"To say that I came up short that night would be an understatement. I fell flat on my face. Klitschko royally kicked my ass. He was the smarter fighter and the better man that night. The only thing I can take out of that fight is experience and knowledge; knowing that I was in there with the best and could compete at the highest level of the sport."
Although the brave combatant never conceded to defeat and gained championship level experience in facing a future Hall of Famer like Klitschko, the proud Hispanic fighter finds minimal solace in loss.
"I don't find very much redemption in loss. Even though I never quit and didn't get knocked down in that fight, I still lost...plain and simple. It's very hard to find anything positive in that. I almost feel like you have a defeatist attitude if I try to take anything positive from that bitter loss."
Courtesy of Adrian Hernandez, MyUniversalSports.com
"At least I know that's where I belong and that's where I want to be. You know, the fact he kicked my butt... man, it happens. The fact that I cried that night...I'm a man who wears his emotions on his sleeve. But, that's how badly I want to be a world champion. It's my dream."
After being technically stopped by Vitali Klitschko and being outpointed by two division champ Tomasz Adamek, the tough Los Angeles based fighter has won six consecutive bouts, four by knockout, to work his way back into heavyweight contention.
Tonight at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, "The Nightmare" Chris Arreola (34-2, 29 KOs) will attempt to regain his WBC mandatory challenger status by taking on 6'5" Texas native Eric "The Drummer Boy" Molina in a scheduled 12 round World Boxing Council title eliminator bout.
Although fighting without an extensive amateur pedigree, the unheralded Rio Grande Valley native is a very intelligent boxer with knockout power in both fists. The gladiator from California insists that he is very aware of dangers that Molina brings to the ring and understands the crucial nature of every contest at the world class level.
"Every fight is important. It may sound cliché, but it's absolutely true. Every fight to me is very important. If I lost my last fight, I wouldn't be here in this title eliminator bout. If I lose this fight, I'm not going to be where I want to be. So as stupid as it sounds, you really have to take one fight at a time and you can't afford to look past any opponent."
"I can't look past Eric Molina at all," emphatically states Chris Arreola. "I refuse to. The man is coming to fight and I have a lot of respect for the man. Make no mistake about it; I don't fear him...I fear no man, but I respect him."
The rugged throwback heavyweight is wise enough to realize that any man who stands 6'5" and weighs over 220 pounds is a very dangerous opponent and a loss to Eric Molina tonight would be catastrophic to his career.
"Although I will never look past any opponent, my ultimate goal is to become a true heavyweight world champion. If you're not in the game to become a world champion then you don't belong here. You're going to get yourself hurt and you're disrespecting the sport."
"That's why I'm in boxing...to become a world champion and to make history!"
The live triple-header will feature Two-Time World Champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams versus Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan, IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud against former title holder Gabriel Campillo, and WBC Heavyweight title contender Chris Arreola versus big punching Eric Molina.
The February 18th, event is scheduled to take place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, and will be televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing and Showtime Extreme.
Tickets for "Triple Threat" are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75 and $100, and are available at the American Bank Center box office and all Ticketmaster Outlets. They are also available online at ticketmaster.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.