Once the hunted, Chris Arreola is now hunting Andy Ruiz
There was once a time when Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KO’s) was shooting to become the first Mexican world heavyweight champion. The good humored, but foul-mouthed fighter had a great chin, fast hands and impressive movement for a heavyweight. En route to his first world title shot, The Nightmare racked up 24 knockout victories. Following his fourth round destruction of Jameel McCline, Arreola got a crack at WBC World Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. In that bout, Arreola suffered both his first professional defeat and stoppage loss.
It would take roughly four years for the Californian to get another world title shot. When he did, against Bermane Stiverne, he was overcome by way of unanimous decision. One year later, Arreola lost his rematch to Stiverne when competing for the then vacant WBC World Heavyweight title. Arreola received his third and final title attempt against Deontay Wilder on July 16, 2016. Similar to his first attempt, Arreola was stopped within the distance yet again. Now he is looking to Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO’s) as a potential form of redemption.
ONE LAST SHOT?
While striving for titles, Arreola regularly spoke about his dream to become the first Mexican world heavyweight champion. Losing that trio of opportunities pierced his soul like a Michael Myers-wielded butcher knife. The pain was instant, debilitating and long-lasting. Yet, the agony of seeing Andy Ruiz reach that mountain top first was equal to, if not greater than, the losses. While Arreola does not harbor any malicious feelings toward Ruiz himself, he does pine over his botched opportunities to make history.
Now that Father Time is breathing down his neck, Arreola understands if he is to do something dynamic, he has no time to waste. Truthfully speaking, at this late date in his career, it is highly unlikely that The Nightmare captures a belt. Yet, if he is going to maintain any hope, he must first vanquish Ruiz in their next dust-up. It is an ironic task that he both comprehends and accepts. As he explained to Fight Hype, Arreola is far from ignorant of the blatant role reversal.
“This is a fight that, in all honesty, I seen it coming since the first time I ever sparred Andy. I remember the first I ever sparred him, the first time I ever seen him he was a pudgy kid that went in the ring and I thought nothing of him until he threw those hands. And those hands were lethal! Those hands were dangerous. They were fast and he was a Mexican with speed and I knew one day this day will come. and this day is here.”
“And now I’m preparing and I’m being ready for this man because he is a dangerous man. At one point, he wanted to be like me and now I want to be like him! He became the first [Mexican] heavyweight title, he did something that I didn’t do and he deserved it. He deserved everything that he got. And now it’s my turn to do my best, to change everything, to change history, to prove that I am an elite heavyweight.”
It will be interesting to see if Arreola can galvanize himself enough to make a late-career last stand. It would be a sight to see if he did. Yet the smart money is not on the Hollywood ending, unless it is of the Million Dollar Baby variety. The new and physically improved Andy Ruiz is likely going to batter Arreola into a mid-round, late-fight stoppage. Despite who wins however, it should be an entertaining scrap from start to finish. As always of course, in the aftermath, 3kingsboxing will be there to report the blow-by-blow recap.
By: Bakari Simpson