"I'm my own worst enemy. I like to eat, and when people tell me to do something, I do the opposite. … My problem is that I don't give a damn about what anybody says.” – Chris Arreola
Chris Arreola is never going to be mistaken for a bodybuilder. The rotund two-time heavyweight title challenger has no desire to be.
“Nowadays, I’m over that cutting the weight and trying to make my body aesthetically pleasing to the public,” the 6-foot-3 Arreola said. “I need to be in boxing shape, no matter what the weight is."
Arreola weighed 262 pounds for his last fight: a crowd-pleasing, eight-round unanimous decision over Curtis Harper in March. He weighed a career-high 263 before his fourth-round stoppage of Brian Minto in December 2009, while his lightest weight for a fight was 229 in November 2006, when he gained a seventh-round technical knockout of Damian Willis.
“Weight’s not the thing. It’s more important to me to please fans from a boxing sense and put on a show,” said Arreola, who called "the low 240s" his optimum weight. “The fans cheered every punch, which satisfies me the most about my last fight. People said, ‘Man, boxing is back better than ever.’ I love to fight, no matter who it is.”
Nicknamed “The Nightmare,” Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) returns to action July 18 against Frederic Kassi (18-3, 10 KOs) at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, which airs on CBS at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
Arreola, 34, has stepped up his training for this fight. A recent three-hour workout included four rounds of shadowboxing, six sparring rounds, mitt work, jumping rope and turns on the heavy and speed bags.
“I hate running, but I run four miles at night,” said Arreola, who ended a 10-month ring absence against Harper. “You can always expect the unexpected with me, but I’m going to be a better Chris Arreola than I was against Harper, I guarantee that."
Married with a 13-year-old daughter, Danae, and a 3-month-old son, Alex, Arreola remains motivated to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
“Financially I’m good, but I fight for the glory of winning,” Arreola said. “I want to make history—to win a title and defend it. That’s my goal. If it gets to the point where I’m just an opponent, I’m out of the game.”
For complete coverage of Arreola vs Kassi, visit our fight page.