Chris Arreola looks sharp in his destruction of Joey Abell

The excitable Chris Arreola jumps up onto the ring ropes to salute his fans. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Friday night, after Chris Arreola’s lightning fast destruction of Joey Abell at the Pechanga Resorts and Casino in Temecula, it seemed every conversation was about the amazing physical transformation of Arreola’s body and the refinement of his boxing skills by the new training staff. Not only did Arreola get serious about losing weight and building up his leg strength, the former top contender looked years younger and better grounded each time he unloaded a punch on the visitor from Minnesota.


As a result, Joey Abell (27-5, 26 KOs) turned out to be Arreola’s thirtieth victim at just 2:53 of the first round. Referee Tony Crebs’ abrupt halt of the contest was not a popular one, not with the home viewers, not with the Pechanga crowd or with Abell.

The consummate entertainer, Chris Arreola borrowed the ring announcer's microphone and thanked his supporters from the bottom of his heart. Photo: Jim Wyatt

It was one of those, what-just-happened, quick and decisive acts of a compassionate referee who when looking into the boxer’s eyes decided he was too hurt to continue.

From the outset, you knew in your heart one or the other combatants wouldn’t last. Why? Because these two giants stood unafraid, toe to toe, exchanging their powerful blows. After Abell threw a left hook that was partially blocked by Arreola’s glove, he followed with a second that landed. Arreola’s reaction when feeling Abell’s power? He smiled, which had to intimidate Abell.

Every time there was a hint of Abell gaining the least bit of confidence, Arreola answered with quick combinations. Before long, Abell was staggered by a hard right and fell backwards with his head going through the ropes. From that point on, he was in the neutral corner receiving a pummeling, one that consisted of at least three unanswered shots to the head.

As fast as the ref’s call came to end the bout, so came a spontaneous kiss to Abell’s cheek from Arreola. Like a youngster opening a present on Christmas morning, Arreola ran about the ring throwing kisses and saluting the fans who have stuck with him.

You got to feel bad for Teddy Atlas as he had his producer shouting in one ear and the excitable Chris Arreola still up in the ring unaware Atlas needed him for the fight wrap-up. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The kissing of women, hugging of men and waving to his faithful fans went on so long, the show’s producers had to ask for an escort to get Arreola out of the ring and down to the waiting Teddy Atlas who needed to complete his ESPN2 Friday Night Fights wrap-up.

Teddy Atlas (left) patiently awaits his turn to interview the popular heavyweight who felt the need to personally acknowledge every fan. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

For the remainder of the night, Arreola graciously went from one well-wisher to the next signing autographs and having his picture taken with fans. As Arreola has stated in the past, “Don’t ever feel intimidated by me. No one appreciates their fans more than I do. You see me on the street, come right up to me. Buy me a beer.”

Long after the Press conference is over, Chris Arreola is still hanging around to make sure every writer, every photographer has what they need. Here we see reporter Barbara Pinnella having her photo taken with the pride of East LA, Riverside and Escondido. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

The Press Conference that followed cleared the air on the spontaneous kiss. “Hey, that’s the way I am. I couldn’t hit him anymore, so I kissed him.” When asked about his rededication, he answered, “Monday, early, I’m going right back to the gym.” That drew a snicker from his trainers. “No, seriously, the year 2010 was my worst year ever. I don’t ever want to go through that again. I want to fight at least four times in 2011. This is my profession, fighting … and I love it.”

Asked about the conditioning and his ideal weight, he answered, “My ideal weight is somewhere between 238 and 244. I’m not running, but my conditioning coach has me on the Stairmaster which I hate like a m…. …… and this thing called Jacob’s ladder. It’s a b….! For this match-up we didn’t concern ourselves with reaching any specific goals as far as weight on the scale. With all the things we were doing, the weight came off naturally.”

Seeing is believing. Arreola is definitely back and that means the other heavyweight contenders better come prepared if they plan to challenge him.

And by the way, there were others boxing matches that night.

Referee Raul Caiz Jr. raises the arm of Josesito Lopez after he handed Mike Dallas Jr. his first loss.

On the undercard of the Arreola/Abell fight, they had Josesito Lopez winning the NABF Jr. welterweight title by defeating Mike Dallas Jr. From the opening bell, Lopez, here having his arm raised in victory by referee Raul Caiz Jr., was relentless as he kept coming after Dallas. Then, in the seventh round, Lopez had Dallas cornered and kept pounding away until he went down to one knee. At that point the refree felt Dallas was dazed, dazed enough to stop the fight.

After getting KO'd by Shawn Estrada, Jon Schmidt was slow getting up. Here we see him getting medical attention by the fight doctor as referee Raul Caiz Jr. looks on. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After getting knocked out in the very first round by Shawn Estrada (11-0-0, 10 KOs), Jon Schmidt (10-2-0) from Minneapolis, Minnesota laid on the canvas for quite some time.

Estrada (11-0-0, 10 KOs) of East Los Angeles, is seen here having his arm raised by referee Raul Caiz Jr. after the bout which ended in the first round.  Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Jr. bantamweight Matt Villanueva (5-0-0, 5 KOs) has his arm raised in victory by referee Tony Crebs after he defeated Jose Luis Cardenas (5-12-1, 3 KOs). Plain and simple, Cardenas got annihilated by the heavier puncher.

In the first round he was knocked down twice and issued an eight count. After barely surviving that round, an early knockdown in the second round gave referee Crebs enough of a reason to call for the early stoppage.

In Bout #2 Kevin Hoskins of Los Angeles, CA. (4-0-0, 3 KOs) won a split decision victory over Ramon Flores (3-10-2, 3 KOs) of Wilmington CA.

And, in Bout #1 Joseph Elegele (10-0-0, 8 KOs) of Melbourne, Florida knocked out his opponent, Manuel Aguilar, (5-1-0, 4 KOs) in the first round.

The four early knockouts in the six fights made it a short evening.

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