|Don’t Cry for Him, Riverside: Arreola Stops Releford
By Gabriel Montoya, from Maxboxing.com (May 28, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
Wearing trunks with Lakers colors, emblazoned with
the words “Men Do Cry,” Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, 32-2 (28), had little to
sniffle about as he worked his way slowly but surely through Kendrick Releford,
22-15-2 (10), over seven rounds to score a stoppage win on Friday night at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada. Arreola,
weighing in at a slim and ready 236, took apart the journeyman Releford, who
was most likely there to give “The Nightmare” a chance to work on spacing,
working the body and taking his time in breaking down an opponent.
Early on, Arreola kept his tools basic, utilizing
his jab at long range, but as the rounds wore on, he would unleash a right
uppercut that he could not miss with as well as a left hook to
the body that found its home more and more as the rounds wore on.
Arreola was patient in his attack against the rangy
survivor Releford, picking his spots and minding another point he wanted to
work on: his defense. Unlike his fight three weeks ago against Nagy Aguilera,
where the newly slimmed-down Arreola went at his foe at a furious pace and ate
unnecessary leather, in this fight, he rarely got hit at all. Part of that was
Releford’s basic one-two/move-away offense that was less an offense than a
couple punches in between holding up a high guard and hoping for the best.
In the sixth, Arreola had really picked up steam and
began to land his right uppercut more and more. At times, he switched sides
with it and began to land the left uppercut followed by his right hand money
punch. He stunned Releford using just that and the road warrior took a knee
under the assault. Again, Arreola stayed patient with his man hurt, didn’t
crowd himself and instead, worked to the body and then upstairs to the dome.
The seventh was mop-up duty despite Releford’s
trainer/father, Kenneth, urging him on to throw three-punch combinations.
“C’mon, Kendrick, you are better than that,” the elder Releford implored,
urging his son to throw more combos as Arreola teed off. Arreola walked down
Releford and showed him that he was not better than Arreola on this night.
Mercifully, referee Russell Mora stopped the contest at 2:43 of round seven.
This was a good night’s work for Arreola, though a
step-up opponent is surely needed in his next outing. As for those trunks? I
asked Arreola about them days before the fight.
“It’s ok. I’ve cried; everybody cries. I cried in front of damn
national TV,” explained a laughing Arreola, who famously cried after losing a
title bid to Vitali Klitschko.
“Who gives a f**k? It doesn’t matter. Just because we are men doesn’t mean we
don’t cry. We got feelings, too. It happens. It doesn’t matter. We all cry
I asked Arreola about the criticism he got for
crying after the Klitschko fight and wondered if it is fair for people to
criticize a man who spent his whole life moving toward a goal only to come up
short expressing honest emotion.
“Exactly, man,” said Arreola. “It doesn’t matter. I
don’t care. I don’t give a f**k. I don’t hold back. If I cry, I cry. That’s
what I do, man.”
Arreola expects to fight at least two more times
this year and get back into contention by the end of that run.
In support, Commerce, CA light middleweight Javier Molina, 7-0 (4), scored a dominant unanimous
decision over David
Lopez, 3-6-3, out of Idaho. This was also the second fight in three weeks for
Molina, who displayed excellent boxing skills, taking control early, working to
the body and head in equal measure while maintaining both control and distance
throughout. Molina scored a first round knockdown off a right hand but from
there, he was unable to hurt Lopez or put him down again. Still, these were
quality rounds for the 2008 Olympian. He is definitely a fighter to watch.
Scores were 60-53 and 59-54 twice for Molina.
In the opening bout, heavyweight Tony Thompson, 36-2 (24), ended Maurice
Harris’ winning streak and most likely his chances at a title
with a third round stoppage. This fight was an IBF eliminator with the winner
getting the number two spot, ultimately facing Eddie Chambers.
Harris , 24-15-2 (10), tried to box safe early on
while Thompson stayed busy in the first, gauging the range for his left hand. In the second, Thompson took full control and
seemed to bully Harris right back. A right hook dropped Harris about two minutes in and it was
all downhill from there. Harris never recovered from the shot, it seemed, and
while he made it out of the second round, the end was near. Harris tried going
on the offensive in the third but it was of no use and Thompson dropped him
again less than a minute in. Harris continued on but soon enough, referee Vic
Drakulich had seen enough as Harris looked glassy-eyed and unstable and the
fight was waived off at 1:51 of round three. With the win, Thompson now will
face fellow stablemate Chambers for the right to face IBF champ Wladimir
Klitschko, who has previously stopped both Thompson and Chambers.
“Eddie, I love you like a brother,” Thompson said
into the camera after his win, “but I told you before; I’d kick my brother’s
ass for Klitschko.”
You can email Gabriel at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
* Special Thanks