Chris Arreola vs. Manny Quezada from Citizens Business Bank Arena Ontario, CA August 13 on ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights
The similarities are many, almost eerily so. Both are heavyweights. Both are from California. Both are members of the Goossen Tutor boxing stable. Both have dreams of becoming the first world heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. Both are coming off bitterly disappointing defeats in fights they were both favored to win. Neither can afford another loss. And now both will fight each other.
On Friday night, August 13, both big men will come together at the end of a collision course when Riverside’s Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola (28-2, 25 KOs) and Bakersfield’s Manuel “El Toro” Quezada (29-5, 18 KOs) meet inside the ropes at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA in the scheduled 12-round ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event for the Mexican National Championship presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions. The winner will redeem himself from his recent setback and re-emerge as a true world title contender; the loser will likely see his world championship aspirations – and opportunity to make heavyweight history – come to an end.
“This main event bout has two fighters who need to over come the challenge from a recent loss in order to advance and set themselves apart in the heavy weight division. We are pleased to be working with goosen tutor event and look forward to a great event and crowd” said Doug Loughrey, boxing program director for ESPN.
The 29-year old Arreola, a native of East LA who — as the top-ranked contender — got his first opportunity at heavyweight history in an ill-fated title shot against WBC champion Vitali Klitschko last September, will be returning to the scene of his HBO-televised loss to Tomasz Adamek back in April. Arreola says he is determined to not disappoint his fans – again – and that he can and will perform at the levels of a world- class athlete; and that he is a much better fighter than he exhibited against his Polish foe; and is the best Mexican heavyweight in the world. Arreola promises to return to his roots that brought him success: a mental determination to go back to basics in the boxing gym and conditioning; more on old-time training with emphasis on more combination power punching and better stamina.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” Arreola admitted of his subpar performance against Adamek. “Everything is on my shoulders. We spent a lot more time on my conditioning and didn’t do a lot of pad work and, as Henry pointed out, my combination count has gone down a big amount. So that is one thing that I’m going to have to work on.
“This fight is a dream-ender for either Quezada or me,” Arreola theorized. “I know I have to win the fight; there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it if I am going to get another world title shot. I have to prove myself again and get back into contention. And I know I have fought better competition than he has so as much as we are alike, that level of competition separates us. My two losses came to a world champion and a former world champion. He hasn’t fought anyone like that, or me.”
“We’re gonna cut back on the conditioning drills,” trainer Henry Ramirez said. “Obviously he’s gonna continue to run, but we don’t want to get to the point where the strength and conditioning work negates his boxing skills. We want him busting his butt in the gym with more focus on boxing, where it always should have been.”
For Wasco native Quezada, 32, his motivation for beating Arreola comes from a different source. Quezada, who was ranked as high as #4 in the WBC, feels he has fought in the shadow of Arreola, undeservingly so. Consequently, Quezada lost his drive and focus in the gym in preparing for what resulted in an unexpected April loss of his WBC CABOFE Heavyweight Championship to journeyman and heavyweight spoiler Jason Gavern.
“It was my fault, completely my fault,” Quezada, sounding like Arreola, admitted regarding his upset loss to Gavern. “Coming into the fight I didn’t train like I should have. I kind of took him lightly and it showed. In the fight I sustained a cut from a head-butt and I’d never been cut in my career. I worried about that and got away from my game. But it will never happen again.
With new management and attitude, Quezada feels he finally has everything in place, including Arreola in the opposite corner to cast out the shadows on August 13, getting the fight he has been seeking the past two years.
“Arreola got a world title shot and with a victory for me on August 13, then I’ll get one,” Quezada stated. “It’s very important for me to beat him. Don’t get me wrong, Arreola is a tough guy. I know him; he comes to fight, but so do I. I can’t worry about what he’s doing. I have to care about what I’m doing: Keep fighting, keep winning and eventually I’ll get my shot.”
“There is no more important time in heavyweight boxing today then August 13. One of these two Mexican-American’s will provide America with hope of bringing the World Championship and respect back to the United States ending the World Championship domination of the European fighters in the heavyweight division.
Tickets are priced at $79, $59 and $29 (parking included with purchase) and can be purchased at the Citizens Business Bank Arena Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. For more information please visit www.CBBankArena.com. A full card of fights underneath the Arreola-Quezada bout will be announced shortly. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the first fight set at 6 p.m. The main event is slated for 7:15 p.m.