World Domination Tour Showing No Signs Of Stopping
In another brutal display of almost complete domination, Vitali Klitschko battered and bloodied the previously unbeaten Chris Arreola, as referee Jon Schorle stopped the contest after ten rounds. Looking busted up but still hopeful on his stool between rounds, the valiant Mexican did not argue the decision but clearly showed he wanted to continue trying.
As usual, it was not an overly aesthetic performance by Dr. Iron Fist but it was an extremely effective and successful evening of pugilistic operating. At times, Klitschko looked like a big, awkward marionette controlled by strings as his long arms and legs contorted and slashed in awkward motions. But no matter how clumsy he looked, everything Klitschko did worked. His style may not impress most purists, but his lethal execution and brilliant tactical mind leave no questions or doubts. This is an all-time great heavyweight champion who would be competitive in any era, if not dominant.
It’s fascinating to watch Vitali’s strange yet masterful style because it’s so uniquely different than anything we’ve seen in the history of the sport. His hands are down for most of the fight, vaguely similar to Muhammad Ali. Jabs are followed near instantaneously by odd-angled rights, uppercuts and hooks in an offbeat rhythm of angles and combinations combined with pinpoint footwork. All the while, Arreola was in danger, each round he absorbed a beating.
But this mighty Mexican kept coming. He endured some wicked hits but never stopped trying, he always kept pressing to close the distance to land the home run shot. Arreola came close a few times to grabbing control of the battle in the seventh and eighth rounds, by getting close and scoring some big left hooks but simply was not permitted to sustain any momentum. Vitali’s stamina is exceptional as is his will to win – at age 38. A big problem for Arreola was that his right hand was a non factor in the fight – it may have scored maybe one or two connections over the ten rounds.
Though there were a few moments where it looked like an upset could be possible – such as if Vitali became tired or one of his knees gave out from all the work they were required to perform – Vitali always rose to the occasion and stifled those possibilities. At every moment where he needed to, he raised his level and regained total control.
After the fight was stopped, Vitali said he had “big respect” for Arreola and stated that he would be a champion someday in the future. It was clear, Vitali was very impressed with the brave, competitive effort Arreola presented and the class and sportsmanship qualities he displayed. It’s an honor to fight for the WBC Heavyweight championship and Arreola was classy in defeat. Though he was always trying to KO the giant Ukrainian, I liked how at the same time, he apologized for accidental little head butts, and how he acknowledged good, smart shots Vitali landed. And Vitali did the same a few times as well. All in all it was a fantastic exhibition of heavyweight championship boxing.
These were two total class contestants, both the champion and his challenger and you have to think 28-year-old Arreola will learn from this amazing experience and will become a greater warrior because of it, as how Sugar Ray Leonard became a more complete and mature fighter after he faced Roberto Duran in Montreal.
38-year-old Klitschko improved his record to 38-2 (37) while Arreola is now 27-1 (24).
A couple of interesting remarks came from Emanuel Steward who seemed to be hyping a brother clash between Vitali and his WBO/IBF/Ring champ brother Wladimir, calling that potential showdown would be one of the most “brutal heavyweight title fights in history.”
One interesting scenario that though is a long shot at best, which could lead to such a battle may be Vitali promising to fight Wladimir, on the condition that Lennox Lewis agrees to comeback at age 45 for a rematch of their 2003 epic war. Lennox Lewis has stated that he thinks the two brothers should fight each other now. Just as Vitali has always stated that he deserves the promised rematch with Lennox. Heavyweight boxing would absolutely explode in popularity and excitement if Vitali vs. Lennox II and Wladimir vs. Vitali were to happen.