Chris Arreola training hard in Houston
By Vikram Birring, Doghouse Boxing (Jan 17, 2011)
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Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola sensed he needed a change in location for his training regimen. Whatever was happening in Riverside was not working anymore, as evidenced by defeats to Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek. So he made the move to Houston, Texas to train with trainer of the stars Ronnie Shields.

Arreola walked into the Savannah Boxing Club a few minutes later than scheduled. “He’s still on California time,” one observer joked. His entourage was tiny, just his wife Erin, original trainer Henry Ramirez, and junior welterweight Josesito Lopez, who is preparing for a clash against undefeated Mike Dallas Jr.

“Who is your imaginary friend?” asked a child who watched Lopez shadowbox. “Mike Dallas!” exclaimed Lopez, and the observers on hand burst in laughter.

Shields would be unable to make it, due to the delay of his flight from California. One night earlier, his charge, Cuban prodigy Erislandy Lara, blew out club fighter Delray Raines in one round.

Taking over would be Ramirez and conditioning coach extraordinaire Brian Caldwell, who works with Shields’s fighters.

Today’s sparring was scheduled for seven rounds. After wrapping his hands himself, Arreola briefly shadowboxed and then put on his cup and headgear. Today’s sparring partner was no ordinary boxer, it was world ranked cruiserweight Felix “Bad News” Cora, who himself is preparing for a bout against Ola Afolabi.

A spirited four round session tested the will and skill of each boxer, neither taking a step back. Watching two elite boxers is a pleasure to watch, and observing men as heavy as Cora and Arreola absorb punches with full torque is a bit brutal, and makes one wonder how humans can put their body through such punishment, and how other humans can enjoy it.

Cora exited and in his place was a man simply known as “Ike.” Ike’s style was a bit different, he did not stand in front and trade, instead he would lunge in with a flurry and quickly move out of the way. But Arreola landed his fair share of punches along the way.

After seven completed rounds, a smiling Arreola joked, “I need a beer.”

“Two more weeks for that,” responded Ramirez. A message on how Arreola has taken his training seriously for his run back to the top of the heavyweight division.

Questions or comments,
e-mail
Vikram at: vikram.birring@gmail.com





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