The Nightmare on Glory Road

By Robert Ecksel on July 17, 2015
The Nightmare on Glory Road
“I see a lot out of Wilder and a lot of mistakes, a lot of good and a lot of bad in Wilder.”

In anticipation of Saturday’s fight, Arreola met the press and wasn’t asked about his rollercoaster career…

Saturday afternoon at Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas, in a fight televised live on CBS (4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT), Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs), from Escondido, California, gets it on with “Big Fred” Kassi (18-3, 10 KOs), from New Orleans, Louisiana, by way of Douala, Cameroon.

In anticipation of the fight, Arreola met the press via teleconference call and wasn’t asked about the ups and downs of his rollercoaster career.

“I’m over here in Riverside training,” he said, “getting ready for this big fight in El Paso. I’ve been out here for the past seven weeks working hard, grinding every day. El Paso is a big fight town and I’m looking forward to exhibiting my boxing skills and showing everybody that I’ve still got it and I’m still a force to be reckoned with and I’m going for the title run again.”

Arreola has had several runs at the title, but when it counted, against Vitali Klitschko (WBC) in 2009, Tomasz Adamek (IBF) in 2011, and Bermane Stiverne (WBC) in 2014, he came up short. Arreola, who has collected scalps from Chazz Witherspoon in 2008, Jameel McCline in 2009, and Seth Mitchell in 2013, might still be considered a contender, but the clock is ticking.

Little is known about Fred Kassi. At 35 he is one year older than Arreola, and has fought six times in the last five years, losing two of those fights, to 21-13-2 Kendrick Releford by decision in 2010 and 20-1 Amir Mansour by knockout in his last outing. But Arreola has studied Fred Kassi. Hopefully Fred Kassihas studied Arreola.

“I know that he’s a very slick fighter,” said Arreola, “a very slick boxer, a boxer that switches a lot, switches from left to righty, depending on the kind of options that you offer him. And the thing that I’m going to need to do is use a lot of my angles and give him a different view because he’s a very skilled fighter and I want to take him out as soon as I can because they don’t pay me overtime.”

Arreola has in many ways been his own worst enemy. He often enters the ring out of shape, sometimes physically and sometimes mentally. But this may be his last chance for a final run at the title. The timing couldn’t be better, with Klitschko sliding and about to fight Tyson Fury, and with Deontay Wilder still somewhat of a wild card.

“You’re only as good as your last win, and that’s the way I feel. So all the talk is just talk. It doesn’t mean anything until I win this fight. I want to make sure that I put on a good fight because Fred is a good fighter and when I beat him I want to beat him in a fashion that people want to see me fight Wilder, not just have it given to me. I want to deserve that title fight. I want people to want to see that fight. So that’s my main goal of this fight, to showcase my skills and show everybody that I deserve another title shot.”

Arreola was asked about his game plan for Saturday’s fight.

“The main thing I have to do is impose my will, moving my head, working behind the jab, and pushing it back to the ropes. Once I push his back to the ropes, it’s trying to work his body from the body to the head. We love working the body. That’s what I’m going to plan to do, is make sure that he knows that he’s in a fight, make sure that he understands that every time I touch him I don’t touch him to touch him, I touch him to hurt him.”

Arreola is fighting under the PBC banner and he, like every other fighter who fights under the PBC banner, is thrilled to be fighting on free TV.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be fighting on national network TV where everyone gets it,” he said. “It’s different to hear of regular person—a person that doesn’t even know boxing—know some boxers. Like I’ve been hit up by a guy like, ‘Hey do you know Keith Thurman?’ They never watched a boxing fight in their life. But the fact that now it’s on NBC and CBS, people are able to watch boxers showcase their skills. Anyone can watch me fight, and that’s pretty dope.”

Since Arreola is gunning for Wilder, he was asked about the WBC champion’s last outing against Eric Molina.

“When I watched that fight I didn’t think it was going to last two, three rounds. Personally I think that Wilder carried him. I think Wilder wanted to get himself rounds. I don’t think that Wilder was really trying to take him out until he actually pushed on the gas. I see a lot out of Wilder and a lot of mistakes, a lot of good and a lot of bad in Wilder. Sometimes trying to showcase you get caught and he got caught a couple times with some stupid shots that he should never have been caught with. That’s why I never want to go rounds. I don’t care who it is. I want to get him out of there as soon as I can because all it takes is one punch to get knocked out.”

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FULL FIGHT: Arreola vs Harper - 3/13/15 - PBC on Spike

Amir Mansour vs Fred Kassi full fight 08-11-2014

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  1. nicolas 12:41am, 07/20/2015

    Well with the draw against this fighter, a fight that some thought his opponent won, his career I think is basically over.

  2. KB 09:38am, 07/17/2015

    Does not know how to train with discipline and focus. Too fat. Too slow. And now maybe even too chinny. He has tons of heart but he needs more to get back into the mix.

  3. nicolas 09:29am, 07/17/2015

    I can’t really consider Arreola to be a contender. His loan claim to fame was that he was a Mexican American fighter, in a division that they have not excelled in. He was a boxer exploited for his Southern California roots, and Mexican culture. Actually perhaps his greatest performance was his loss to Stirvene, in both fights. The first he was doing well, until he got knocked down, and suffered I believe an injury. In his second fight, he was boxing well   and appeared to be maybe going to be WBC champ until Stirverne caught up with him in the middle rounds to stop him. Certainly he may have a punchers chance against Wilder. But I would see a more likely scenario of Wilder stopping him early. Could you imagine though, if Arreola were to win, what a joke the WBC heavy championship picture would look like.

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