Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |



Arreola KOs McCline in Four

Fighters Network

Chris Arreola (right) calmly walks to a neutral corner after a left uppercut-right hand combination followed by right cross put Jameel McCline down for a 10-count in the fourth round of their NABF heavyweight title bout on Saturday. With the easy victory over the faded veteran, Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs) took a step closer to earning a world title shot. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

LAS VEGAS — For Chris Arreola, it might be Klitschko time. And that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Arreola got the job done against ancient Jameel McCline, stopping the 38-year-old one-time contender with a four-punch combination at 2:01 of the fourth round of an entertaining heavyweight fight on the Paul Williams-Winky Wright fight on Saturday.

It definitely wasn’t pretty, though.

Arreola (27-0, 24 knockouts) outworked his slow, flabby opponent – landing enough hard body shots and right hands to break McCline (39-10-3, 23 KOs) down — and he finished it dramatic fashion, with a dead-tired McCline on the canvas. That’s the good.

The bad is that McCline, seven years removed from his days in the title picture, hurt the defense-challenged Arreola at least twice with solid lefts. At moments, Arreola seemed vulnerable to what would’ve been a career-halting upset.

Worse, if an opponent like McCline can land such damaging punches, one can only imagine what havoc a Klitschko could wreak on Arreola’s wide-open face.

Arreola also raised eyebrows again by weighing in at 255, a pound heavier than he weighed when he stopped Travis Walker in November. Some will see that as further evidence that the Riverside, Calif., fighter doesn’t train as he should.

In his defense, he missed a full week of training because of flu symptoms, which probably contributed to his weight.

And, bottom line: He maintained his perfect record. He overcame a challenge – albeit a brief one – and remained in the hunt for a big-money title fight against a Klitschko.

One of the Klitschkos’ representatives told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that talks are underway for WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko to fight Arreola this summer at Staples Center in Los Angeles, which undoubtedly would draw a large contingent of the local man’s fans.

If it happens, for Arreola’s sake, let’s hope he looks better than he did on Saturday.

In other preliminary bouts, junior welterweight prospect Danny Garcia (12-0, seven KOs) of Philadelphia received a challenge from determined Humberto Tapia of Tijuana, Mexico, but won a one-sided, unanimous eight-round decision.

Shawn Estrada, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, scored his fourth knockout in as many fights 47 seconds into round three of a scheduled four-round fight against Omar Coffi (1-2-2) of Londonderry, N.H.

Craig McEwan (14-0, nine KOs) of Scotland, who is trained by Freddie Roach, stopped Alexis Division (16-9, 13 KOs) of the Dominican Republic 1:49 into the first round of a scheduled eight-round middleweight bout.

Jose Rodriguez (13-1-1, three KOs) of New York stopped Pablo Montes De Oca (9-16-2, six KOs) of Las Vegas 2:10 into a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout.

Michael Dallas (7-0-1, one KO) of Bakersfield, Calif., defeated Terrance Jett (4-13-2, two KOs) of Las Vegas by a unanimous decision in a four-round junior welterweight bout.

Rico Ramos (9-0, five KOs) of Pico Rivera, Calif., defeated Gino Escamilla (5-5-1, two KOs) of Laredo, Texas, by a unanimous decision in a six-round junior featherweight bout.

And Juan Dominguez (4-0, two KOs) of the Dominican Republic knocked out Ramon Flores (3-5-1, three KOs) of Wilmington, Calif., 2:10 into a scheduled four-round featherweight bout.