Don’t Cry for Him, Riverside: Arreola Stops Releford
By Gabriel Montoya, from (May 28, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
Wearing trunks with Lakers colors, emblazoned with the words “Men Do Cry,” Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, 32-2 (28), had little to sniffle about as he worked his way slowly but surely through Kendrick Releford, 22-15-2 (10), over seven rounds to score a stoppage win on Friday night at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada. Arreola, weighing in at a slim and ready 236, took apart the journeyman Releford, who was most likely there to give “The Nightmare” a chance to work on spacing, working the body and taking his time in breaking down an opponent.


Early on, Arreola kept his tools basic, utilizing his jab at long range, but as the rounds wore on, he would unleash a right uppercut that he could not miss with as well as a left hook to the body that found its home more and more as the rounds wore on.


Arreola was patient in his attack against the rangy survivor Releford, picking his spots and minding another point he wanted to work on: his defense. Unlike his fight three weeks ago against Nagy Aguilera, where the newly slimmed-down Arreola went at his foe at a furious pace and ate unnecessary leather, in this fight, he rarely got hit at all. Part of that was Releford’s basic one-two/move-away offense that was less an offense than a couple punches in between holding up a high guard and hoping for the best.


In the sixth, Arreola had really picked up steam and began to land his right uppercut more and more. At times, he switched sides with it and began to land the left uppercut followed by his right hand money punch. He stunned Releford using just that and the road warrior took a knee under the assault. Again, Arreola stayed patient with his man hurt, didn’t crowd himself and instead, worked to the body and then upstairs to the dome.


The seventh was mop-up duty despite Releford’s trainer/father, Kenneth, urging him on to throw three-punch combinations. “C’mon, Kendrick, you are better than that,” the elder Releford implored, urging his son to throw more combos as Arreola teed off. Arreola walked down Releford and showed him that he was not better than Arreola on this night. Mercifully, referee Russell Mora stopped the contest at 2:43 of round seven.


This was a good night’s work for Arreola, though a step-up opponent is surely needed in his next outing. As for those trunks? I asked Arreola about them days before the fight.


“It’s ok. I’ve cried; everybody cries. I cried in front of damn national TV,” explained a laughing Arreola, who famously cried after losing a title bid to Vitali Klitschko. “Who gives a f**k? It doesn’t matter. Just because we are men doesn’t mean we don’t cry. We got feelings, too. It happens. It doesn’t matter. We all cry sometimes…”


I asked Arreola about the criticism he got for crying after the Klitschko fight and wondered if it is fair for people to criticize a man who spent his whole life moving toward a goal only to come up short expressing honest emotion.


“Exactly, man,” said Arreola. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. I don’t give a f**k. I don’t hold back. If I cry, I cry. That’s what I do, man.”


Arreola expects to fight at least two more times this year and get back into contention by the end of that run.


In support, Commerce, CA light middleweight Javier Molina, 7-0 (4), scored a dominant unanimous decision over David Lopez, 3-6-3, out of Idaho. This was also the second fight in three weeks for Molina, who displayed excellent boxing skills, taking control early, working to the body and head in equal measure while maintaining both control and distance throughout. Molina scored a first round knockdown off a right hand but from there, he was unable to hurt Lopez or put him down again. Still, these were quality rounds for the 2008 Olympian. He is definitely a fighter to watch. Scores were 60-53 and 59-54 twice for Molina.


In the opening bout, heavyweight Tony Thompson, 36-2 (24), ended Maurice Harris’ winning streak and most likely his chances at a title with a third round stoppage. This fight was an IBF eliminator with the winner getting the number two spot, ultimately facing Eddie Chambers.


Harris , 24-15-2 (10), tried to box safe early on while Thompson stayed busy in the first, gauging the range for his left hand. In the second, Thompson took full control and seemed to bully Harris right back. A right hook dropped Harris  about two minutes in and it was all downhill from there. Harris never recovered from the shot, it seemed, and while he made it out of the second round, the end was near. Harris tried going on the offensive in the third but it was of no use and Thompson dropped him again less than a minute in. Harris continued on but soon enough, referee Vic Drakulich had seen enough as Harris looked glassy-eyed and unstable and the fight was waived off at 1:51 of round three. With the win, Thompson now will face fellow stablemate Chambers for the right to face IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko, who has previously stopped both Thompson and Chambers.


“Eddie, I love you like a brother,” Thompson said into the camera after his win, “but I told you before; I’d kick my brother’s ass for Klitschko.”

You can email Gabriel at, follow him on Twitter at and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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