After weeks of bad mouthing opponent Seth Mitchell during the pre-fight build up, heavyweight Chris Arreola backed up his words by crushing Mitchell in the very first round of their bout for the WBC International crown last night at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA.
Initially, Mitchell had success with a nice right hand and crisp left hook but ominously, the punches had no effect on Arreola, who continued to come forward but was missing with his own offensive efforts.
That soon changed however when Arreola hurt Mitchell with a flush right hand to the jaw that had the former football player grabbing Arreola and hanging on for dear life.
But Arreola managed to free himself and throw Mitchell to the canvas. It wasn't ruled a knockdown and it gave Mitchell precious seconds to try and clear his head.
Arreola quickly moved if for the kill and shook off a right from Mitchell, landing big shots with both hands and producing a genuine knockdown this time.
Mitchell was up quickly on very shaky legs and somehow managed to convince referee Jack Reiss he could continue. Arreola made a mockery of that assertion as he went right after Mitchell, who was soon taking more punishment and sailing around the ring, prompting Reiss to stop the one way traffic at 2:26 of the first round.
Arreola gets himself back into championship contention just five months after losing a WBC Silver title bout to Bermane Stiverne, improving to 36-3 (31), and capturing the WBC International strap and with it a possible rematch with WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko.
Mitchell, 26-2-1 (19), has lost two of his last three contests, both by stoppage in the early rounds and has now earned the status of being labeled as "chinny".
The Maryland based 31 year old came back from a similar setback to win a rematch against Johnathan Banks in June but unless Mitchell can reinvent himself as a defensively oriented boxer, it will be very hard to regroup from this loss.
Also on the bill, 38 year old former IBF bantam and WBC super bantam champ Rafael Marquez, 41-9 (37), failed to recapture past glories as he was stopped in nine rounds at featherweight by former NABF super bantam beltholder Efrain Esquivias, 17-2-1 (10).
Esquivias had gone 0-2-1 over his last three while Marquez had dropped four of his last six, three of those inside the distance, and should consider this result a signal to retire after a long and very successful career.
Ex- WBA super bantam strapholder Rico Ramos, 22-3 (12), shook off two straight losses and a knockdown in the fifth round to dramatically knock out the previously undefeated Carlos Ivan Velasquez, 15-1 (11), in the tenth and final round at featherweight.
Featherweight contender Ronny Rios, 22-0 (10), posted a wide eight round points verdict over durable 37 year old veteran Jose Angel Beranza, 36-28-2 (28).