Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chris Arreola VS Seth Mitchell: A Puncher With A Chin Is Mitchell's Nightmare

The action itself:

Mitchell gets off first, landing a sharp one-two. Mitchell is faster of hand and foot than Arreola and a more well-conditioned athlete. As a matter of fact, Mitchell was schooling Arreola with these advantages, apparently...For almost the first minute of the fight. He almost made it out of the first full minute of the first round without clearly getting hurt. After plodding forward and taking sharp shots from Mitchell for fifty-something seconds, the big right hand of Arreola landed flush and caused Mitchell to clutch for dear life. The good? Mitchell knows to clinch now, as he didn't seem to when he was stopped by Johnathon Banks. The bad news? Clinching the torso instead of the arms instinctively isn't good. But, more so, he just doesn't take a big shot very well, as observed before. He simply doesn't show the ability to take a big shot without getting significantly hurt. What else can you say?

Mitchell clutched onto Arreola as best as he could but Arreola has been clutched this way before, nothing new, and he was having none of it, throwing off the stout former American footballer and sending him crashing to the canvas. Referee Jack Reiss calls it correctly, not a knockdown, although, well, he wouldn't have ended up down this way if he weren't rather hurt. Mitchell does his best to continue fighting off of the back foot again, and he lands a few but as soon as Arreola initiates a trading session, Mitchell takes the bombs and is hurt again. Arreola's sledgehammer right hands came crashing down on a hunched over Mitchell and on the canvas he goes for the first official knockdown of the round. Arreola goes right back to work and Mitchell tries to work with him but he ends up hurt and staggering/running away and into the ropes. Jack Reiss has seen enough at this point and calls it.

Mitchell doesn't want it called, but Reiss knows he simply isn't taking this kind of fight well enough to let him back into it. I think it's a good call. I'm sorry, I know Mitchell wanted it, and I like Seth and appreciate what he's done in his second serious sport as an athlete, but Reiss struck me as correct. It would've been a disservice to Seth to let him continue on with this. He was not a match for Chris Arreola. Arreola KO1 Seth Mitchell. After the stoppage, Arreola begins doing push-ups in the ring. Because he's a big, Mexican Jack LaLanne! The commentator says it's the first time in his career he can't get enough work. Hah!

Who is Chris Arreola?

Chris "The Nightmare" Arreola is a man we must appreciate for what he is when everyone wants to be disappointed by what he's not. We must appreciate what he is...or we'll get no satisfaction at all. He's not built like a man who enjoys hard work at the gym. His floppy physique is notorious. He doesn't look like an athlete of any kind. He never will. It ain't him, babe. No, no, no. If you want heavyweight that look like an athlete, it ain't him you're looking for, babe. If you want pretty boxing or pretty bumps, don't expect it from Cristobal Arreola. It's not worth the disappointment. This man likes his ice cream. What you should expect, and what you should appreciate is that Arreola, who has been boxing since he was a small child, will always be able to flat-out fight, hit with real power from both hands and bring the action. Appreciate it, because finding a heavyweight with the ability and willingness to take anything to land everything with any significant pedigree, experience and class stopping power to stand out from the pack...these guys are rare.

Arreola lets his fists do the talking, but he censors himself about as well as he inhibits his appetite when he does open his mouth and he's colourful outside of the ring, as well as inside. Lets appreciate this man for what he is instead of harping on what he isn't. Tonight, we saw the faster, more athletic, far better physique in Seth Mitchell get blown out early. It wasn't a devastating looking KO, it was a ref's conscience TKO, but it shows that if you're not a proper contender, once again, Chris Arreola will sort you the heck out. Arreola can smell it on you when you're not a hard, class fighting man with some savvy. Arreola took some hard, fast shots from Mitchell. Mitchell got off first, if you look at the fight, but Arreola can take a shot and come raging back with both hands in a way that separates the regular man from the class of the world. Arreola's three losses are not byproducts of his conditioning. That doesn't fly with me. They're byproducts of class fighters putting the screws to him regardless of his conditioning. Just as his losses aren't byproducts of his flab, his wins aren't byproducts of less of it either. They're byproducts of having the right combination of talent, physical tools, experience and grit. I'm not saying he shouldn't put the effort in-of course he should-only that we've seen his level and it's a good, not great level, no matter what his weight has been throughout his heavily fluctuated career weights.

Where to for the loser?

Where does this leave Seth Mitchell? People are going to write him off completely after this and the two matches with Johnathon Banks, despite him winning one. As far as world class fighting, I think that's fair. As far as any boxing career at all? I don't know if I'm throwing my support behind outright retirement. This has not been a failed experiment. It is not as if he did not get good television spots, win a good regional title, get a chance to rumble with some good names. If he was unceremoniously ruined by somebody you never heard of, fine, it was a bad career. But, he's not in bad company at all. But I have to say that Mitchell's speed and power and dedication to his conditioning are there and there are decent heavyweights out there that are simply not punchers, if he wants to continue. I think giving him a few "gimmes", then trying to match him up against someone like Jason Estrada or Dominick Guinn could bring him some good money without doing what they just did to him and matching him up in a way that was predictably bad for him.

Now, about this matchmaking, I look at his difficulty in surviving Banks and I wonder how his management really assesses him, for sending him in against, as I said, a puncher with a chin and fine pedigree. To me, this was a predictable match-up on paper. Was I 100% confident Arreola would win? Knowing that Mitchell is a genuine puncher and it's tough to count on Arreola in the big matches, like him or not, no; I wasn't 100% confident. But, that said, if someone had a gun to my head, the only prediction I could've given was an early Arreola knockout. Did Mitchell's backers assume the same? Because, it seems to me that they have him as written off as any kind of contender as most fans likely do now. Why else would they have put this fight in front of him? Because, forget getting what you likely can out of the game, sink or swim when we know you're not really a swimmer? I don't know. Something about this match-up irks me.

Still, this loss isn't definitively an end to any further career. As I said, the company isn't bad. Arreola fought two honest heavyweight prizefighters in Eric Molina (2012) and Joey Abell (2011) and they were done in the exact same way-KO1. I think the bottom line is that Seth is not a serious contender, but he's no bum either. It's a matter of if you aren't an honest to goodness top 15 type of heavyweight, Arreola will likely annihilate you. That's what he does. His position in the sport is a loser to top 15 types and a killer of anyone that doesn't fit in that company. I think that's exactly where he is and it's no disrespect to say that. It's a fine class. So, is it anything damning for an entire career to lose to that class? I think Mitchell could go on, matched well. His style though, an aggressive one that gets the most out of his pure physical strength, it doesn't match his chin. If that can't be dealt with, using a change in style, there's not much hope for more than some good matchmaking. But his ability to pull off an upset with his power and get a big fight? It's there. The question is whether or not that seemingly lower level potential for a name fighter is worth it. Either way, good luck to both men, as they are usually always enjoyable heavyweight bangers.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing  

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