CHRIS ARREOLA is 40 years old, hasn’t fought for nearly two years and his most recent noteworthy victory took place in 2013. Yet he takes his place atop a pay-per-view bill in the United States. Why? Because he is in fun fights, goddamnit! That is true to a degree. Like almost every active heavyweight, he is in the occasional exciting fight. In fairness, though he may not always prepare like the best of ‘em, he rarely leaves the ring having not given his all. In short, he’s exactly what Andy Ruiz Jnr needs right now. He’s a name, his notorious frame will likely make Ruiz’s new physique look even better and, crucially, he might just make a fist of it for as long as this one lasts.
Arreola is no mug. Even at his advanced age it’s unlikely he’ll be blown out early. But we expect to see the stuffing slowly but surely ripped out of him.
Ruiz needs to beware of the rough and tumble, his skin cuts fairly easily, but look for Andy to ease back into contention with a stoppage win at around the halfway mark of this 12-rounder.
The WBA, bunch of imbeciles that they are, sanction Erislandy Lara–Thomas Lamanna for a ‘world’ title at middleweight. Lara, even at 38 and having his first bout at 160lbs, should toy with the mediocre Lamanna to force the referee to halt the mismatch or score a lopsided win on the cards.
Up at super-middleweight, top prospect Sebastian Fundora should be too tall and too sharp for Jorge Cota (who stopped the aformentioned Lamanna last year).
Also on the bill, in another daft WBA title fight, is solid Mexican featherweight Eduardo Ramirez. He should demolish the overmatched Isaac Avelar.
In short, this is a bill designed to make the A-sides look good and, of course, to allow the WBA to line their pockets with sanctioning fees.