Chris Arreola: I owe it to the fans to give them a great fight
Heavyweight fan-favorite slugger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KO's) of Riverside, California is ready for his showdown against former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KO's) this Saturday May 1st at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California headlining the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.
“I’m ready for this fight. I’ve been waiting for this fight for four or five months. This one is going to be a barnburner for sure," Chris Arreola said. “It’s a beautiful venue at Dignity Health Sports Park. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Every time I go there I love to sit up there with all the fans and enjoy the fights. It’s going to be a fun night of boxing on May 1 and I can’t wait.” Arreola added.
This is the first time in history that you will have two-Mexican heavyweights headlining a pay-per view card.
“This fight is important for my legacy. I want to make the fans happy they bought this fight. I don’t fight for paychecks. I’m a fighter for the fans. So I hope they enjoy this fight and buy this pay-per-view," Arreola on fighting on PPV.
It has been nearly two years that Arreola was last in the ring having dropped a decision to Adam Kownacki as Arreola threw 1125 punches the most in heavyweight compu-box history.
“I was able to keep up the pace against Kownacki because I did everything I had to do in the gym. I could have given three more rounds at the end of that fight too. The fight is always won in the gym and we put all of the work in to win that fight. I thought I won that fight. Despite not getting the decision, it was a fun fight for me," Arreola on his defeat to Kownacki.
“I’ve had some long layoffs before, so I know how to get back into it when the time comes. The sparring helps you know where your timing is at. That’s the best way to gauge where you’re at in your training camp," Arreola added.
Arreola now returns to the ring with new trainer, Hall of Famer Joe Goosen. Known for his work with former champions the Ruelas brothers, Gabriel and Rafael, former super middleweight champion Michael Nunn, other champions include Joel Casamayor, Robert Guerrero, and the late Diego Corrales.
“Defensively I’ve grown so much working with Joe. He’s taught me a lot about keeping my hands up and countering. He hasn’t reinvented the wheel, he’s just made sure the wheel is round," Arreola said about hooking up Joe Goosen.
"“We’ve been training for around four months but he hasn’t peaked too early because we’ve been consistent. Once we built up to a certain point, we’ve kept it there. He’s not worn out at all. This is what fighters are supposed to do. They’re supposed to be in the gym training," Trainer Joe Goosen said.
Holding training camp at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys, California. Arreola comes into this fight well prepared working under Goosen.
“I feel great. I’ve been working hard for months. I know that I have to make this a great fight for the fans and for myself. I know how crucial this fight is for my career," Arreola on his preparation.
“I’m very confident and calm heading into this fight, because Chris has been doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. That’s all you can ask for.” Goosen said about the preparation.
For the veteran heavyweight and former world title challenger this is probably his last shot at the big stage. Starting off his career undefeated, Arreola broke onto the scene in November of 2006 fighting on his first pay-per view knocking out Damian Willis on the Mayweather Baldomir card. Considered to potentially be the first Mexican heavyweight champion in history, Arreola got his first shot at 27-0, 24 KO's taking on Vitali Klitschko back in 2009 as he was stopped in a one-sided fight.
Four years later in 2013, Arreola got a crack at the vacant WBC heavyweight title and dropped a decision to Bermaine Stiverne. One-Year later Arreola suffered his first KO defeat to Bermaine Stiverne in a rematch.
The opportunity came knocking once again for Arreola in the summer of 2016 as he took on Deontay Wilder in his fourth bid at the WBC title. Unfortunately, Arreola was stopped by Wilder in putting a spirited effort. Now Arreola will look to seize this opportunity against the former heavyweight champion.
“There are not too many things that I regret in my life. Yes, I found more discipline later in my career, but I’m not one who draws on the past too much. There’s nothing I can change except what happens tomorrow," Arreola said.
Andy Ruiz Jr. became the first Mexican heavyweight champion in boxing history by knocking out Anthony Joshua two years ago. Unfortunately for Ruiz, he dropped a decision to Joshua in the rematch but make no mistake about it, Joshua had his hands full in boxing Ruiz.
"I sparred Andy back the day when he was just a pudgy kid and I thought nothing of him, until he threw those hands. Andy is a tremendous fighter," Arreola on Andy Ruiz. "I know Andy is looking strong and that’s going to make this a great fight. This is a fight people should be talking about. There’s more work to be done, but I’ll be ready to shock the world on May 1. At one point he wanted to be like me, and now I want to be like him and become heavyweight champion. He deserved everything he got, and now it’s my time to do everything to change history and prove I’m an elite heavyweight,"
With a win over Ruiz, Arreola definitely remains in the hunt for bigger things.
"This is a crucial fight for my career. For my legacy. I know that I owe it to the fans to give them a great fight,"
“Chris and Andy are veterans. They’ve been around a longtime. They know how to turn on the switch when the time comes. We’re preparing for a great fight on May 1. You’re going to have the best Andy Ruiz that we’ve seen in this fight. And we have the same on our side. Our team has been working hard as well. I don’t expect anything but a great fight. However many rounds this goes, it’s going to be fireworks," Goosen said.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla