I picture myself just breaking him down little by little, chipping away and chipping away, and then finally finding that opening that I'll be looking for.
Arreola has a point. Whatever his body may look like when he fights, it's hard to argue with the results. Twenty-seven bouts, twenty-four knockouts, and most of them of the crowd-pleasing,"Oh-my-God-did-you-see-that?" variety that turns winning fighters into YouTube sensations and must-see stars. There's no question that Arreola has the total package to become a huge star on the American scene, possessing both gigantic punching power and a gigantic personality. The knockouts are self-evident, and so is his charisma.
"I've always wanted to do a set of stand-up comedy," he admits. "Just go in there on amateur night and try to do a routine. It's sort of seems like boxing actually, because it's just you and the stage. No one else can come in there and help you."
Anyone who's ever hung around the guy knows that being a comedian would not be an unlikely alternative career choice. Joking around is a way of life for Chris Arreola. As he tells it, he and his trainer bust on each other so hard that observers often wonder how they maintain their relationship. "I've always been a class clown type. Me and my friends, me and Henry, my trainer, we're ball-busters. And it's all in good fun, believe me. People look at what we say to each other and they say, "How are you guys friends?"
Then again, when talk turns to his boxing career, the jokes go out the window. Asked if he'll go right after Wladimir Klitschko if he beats Vitali, he turns serious in a heartbeat. "The thing about it is, man, I don't look at this as 'if' I beat Vitali. It's 'when.' When I win this fight, if Wladimir Klitschko is the next fight in front of me, then so be it, because what I look forward to is being the undisputed heavyweight champion."
His confidence heading into his first world title shot is undeniable. Ironically, for a man who is constantly facing questions about his weight, a lot of that confidence has to do with his fitness level and how he sees the Kltischko fight playing out. "I'm prepared to go into deep water with him, and I'm pretty sure that we're going to go deep into the fight. But it's not going the full twelve rounds, that's for sure. I picture myself just breaking him down little by little, chipping away and chipping away, and then finally finding that opening that I'll be looking for."
Despite his reputation as the life of the party, Arreola hasn't planned any particular victory celebration yet, beyond some immediate post-fight sustenance. "After I get the title, when I get to the dressing room, I'm going to have some beer on ice ready for me. So I'm warning you, I might stumble into the press conference pretty buzzed."
After that, the sky's the limit. As a big-punching Mexican-American who is all kill-or-be-killed fury in the ring and affable, approachable and completely hilarious out of it, Arreola has the potential to become the first heavyweight to capture the American imagination since Mike Tyson. So provided everything goes according to plan, just how long does Arreola imagine his boxing career lasting? "I'm thinking like my mid-thirties. Seven more years and I'm out. And then when I get to my time, I'll just, you know, sit next to Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley and announce the fights with them."