By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
Riverside, California heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs) is days away from his heavyweight clash with highly rated contender Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KOs) taking place this Saturday at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino live on Showtime Championship Boxing. Fightnews.com caught up with the “Nightmare” on a sunny summer afternoon at the El Paseo Inn Restaurant at the historical Olvera Street Plaza in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his showdown with Mitchell.
“I feel ready and motivated for this fight. Is he tough? Maybe! Does he hit hard? Maybe! But I feel that I am the far superior fighter and it’s my time to make it known,” Arreola told Fightnews.com.
The Nightmare wrapped up his camp as he was training in the Arizona desert city of Phoenix. Having trained in his hometown of Riverside for his last fight Arreola feels that this time around in training camp it has been different as he and his trainer Henry Ramirez have had a good camp together and have focused more in preparation for Mitchell.
“Chris is excellent. I think going to Phoenix is something we will be doing every time. It was a distraction being at home. We didn’t leave because of great camps,” Ramirez told Fightnews.com. “Leaving was a result of a bad camp!”
“The difference this time is that I was training in Phoenix. I actually worked every day there. I didn’t miss no days, it was good,” Arreola said. “I am my own worst enemy. I can’t train at home. I can’t blame friends, nobody, it’s me. I am the one that cuts corners so that is something I had to get away from, get away from home.”
Arreola he is coming off a unanimous decision loss at the hands of Bermaine Stiverne last April. In that fight Arreola suffered a broken nose in the third round as he was knocked down with a huge right hand but continued to fight on despite the massive bleeding and a badly damaged nose. “I don’t want to take anything from Stiverne. Once he broke my nose in the third round, I just couldn’t do nothing more,” said Arreola. “Right after he dropped me with that right hand, it was a perfectly timed right hand. I didn’t see it coming. He shattered my nose. Every time I got punched it was the most excruciating pain I felt, but there was no quit in me. I kept fighting till the last bell.”
His opponent Seth Mitchell is a former NCAA Football player having played linebacker at Michigan State University from 2002 to 2005. After being sidelined from the gridiron due to a knee injury, Mitchell began boxing at a late age. Despite his inexperience in the ring, Mitchell turned pro in 2008 and steamrolled over opponents in his first 28 bouts, logging wins over experienced fighters such as Timor Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon before being stopped in two rounds at the hands of Johnathon Banks last November. Mitchell would avenge that loss seven months later in winning a unanimous decision over Banks, setting the stage for Arreola-Mitchell with the winner earning a shot at a possible world title later down the line.
“He is pretty methodical. He moves enough. He tries to box the last fight he fought. Didn’t really give him nothing. I watched both of the fights. The first time he knocked him out and the second fight was a boring fight. I have to make sure it’s not a boring fight with me,” Arreola said about Mitchell. “I am the more experienced boxer. I have been in this since I was seven years old. You have to admire the guy for taking up the sport after playing football his entire life and then transitioning.”
“He has some power he showed a little bit of boxing ability against Banks,” Arreola’s trainer Henry Ramirez added.
Having once fought for a world title back in 2009, Arreola suffered his first defeat by stoppage to WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. After scoring a knockout two months later in his return bout, Arreola faced Poland’s Tomasz Adamek and the two went the distance in a close one that saw Adamek take a majority decision. Chris bounced back as he was riding a seven fight win streak until suffering his third defeat at the hands of Stiverne. A win over Mitchell will catapult Arreola back into the heavyweight title picture.
“A win here is a big win for me. It is my time to prove to everyone that I still belong in boxing and you will see after the fight,” Arreola said “I would love to get a rematch with Stiverne or fight for a world title
“Expect an exciting fight. One thing is that every time I step in the ring it’s an exciting fight. I will bring the fight to him and make him fight the fight. I will make sure I throw enough punches to make this kid hurt!” Arreola concluded.
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