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Oscar De La Hoya blog: Arreola victory would be huge

25
Sep

Many in the boxing world have long suggested that the sport could use a heavyweight version of Oscar De La Hoya, a charismatic, bi-lingual Mexican-American who can also fight. Chris Arreola probably isn’t a bigger version of The Golden Boy but he has a lot going for him – that Hispanic background, a good personality, a perfect record and a big punch. He’ll also have the opportunity to become the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win a major title when he faces Vitali Klitschko on Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. De La Hoya, who has no promotional ties to Arreola, offeres his thoughts on Arreola and the fight in his weekly blog.

A victory by Chris Arreola would mean everything to the heavyweight division here in America. It would mean everything to the Hispanic community all over the country and the world. A lot is riding on this fight. And I believe and feel Arreola can make America proud and can make the entire Hispanic community proud by putting on a great performance and winning Saturday. I feel he can do it if he lands that one big punch.

Mexican-Americans haven’t had a heavyweight champion because we’re all 6 feet and under. It’s rare when we get these big heavyweights. That’s why Arreola is so special and why we have to support him and stay behind him. He can beat Klitschko and be the next great heavyweight; so we’re crossing our fingers.

Arreola also has the personality; he knows what to say. He gets it. That’s another reason I think he can be special. He has to take care of himself, though. He has to keep training hard, keep doing what he’s doing. I know he can be special.

I don’t know how Mexican-Americans will react if Arreola wins Saturday. I think at first we would be shocked. And, second, everyone would get on the bandwagon instantly. We’ve never had a heavyweight champion who is Hispanic, who is American and Mexican like I am. It would be great for the boxing and great for everyone in general.

The sport needs a heavyweight with crossover appeal for fans who don’t really know boxing, who don’t really follow the sport. We haven’t had one for a long time now. That’s why it would be huge if Arreola can beat Klitschko. It would help drive the sport. It would be a blessing for us in America.

It won’t be easy for Arreola. Klitschko is a big, strong, experienced guy. I also have my fingers crossed that Klitschko [38] gets old over night. You never know. It could happen on Saturday night; it can happen at any time. And Arreola can have one of those perfect nights. We all have them at one time or another. If all the stars are aligned, if Arreola has the performance of his life, he can make history by becoming the heavyweight champion – the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion.

If one guy can do it, it’s Chris Arreola.

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