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Originally Published: September 28, 2009

Klitschko TKO comes as no surprise

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Rafael By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com
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A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Los Angeles
Heavyweight
Vitali Klitschko TKO10 Cristobal Arreola
Retains a heavyweight title
Records: Klitschko, 38-2, 37 KOs; Arreola, 27-1, 24 KOs

Rafael's remark: Klitschko's remarkable comeback from nearly four years in retirement because of injuries continued with yet another dominant performance against a quality opponent. Klitschko, who came out of retirement to dominate Samuel Peter in October 2008 and regain his old alphabet belt, didn't just retain it for the second time against Arreola. He retained with an authoritative beatdown in one of the best performances of his career. Anyone who was giving Arreola a shot to win (and, be honest, there weren't too many of you) had to be concerned right from the outset. From the moment the bell rang, Klitschko used his long reach, height advantage (6-foot-7 to 6-4) and powerful jab to keep Arreola on the outside when his only real chance to win was to get on the inside and turn it into a brawl. But Klitschko, 38, is too smart and too darned good for that. Instead, he used the jab to control Arreola, who is from nearby Riverside, Calif., and was the favorite of the crowd of 14,556. But Klitschko had some fans, too, given his past history of fights at the Staples Center and the fact that he considers L.A. a second home. Once he had Arreola under control almost exclusively with the jab -- which took maybe a round or two -- he went to work and began teeing off with a variety of punches. A left hook here, a big right there and, oh, how about a mean uppercut and body shot? Klitschko showed an amazing variety of punches in a diverse performance. He looked confident and strong and his legs were better than they've been in ages. It was impressive, especially when you consider Klitschko's age. Arreola, 28, bidding to become the first heavyweight titleholder of Mexican decent, was simply clueless about how to deal with such a big man throwing such big punches from all angles. Out of the 30 combined rounds scored by the three judges, Arreola won only the eighth round on two scorecards. How lopsided was the fight? Judge Guido Cavalieri scored the destructive 10th round 10-8 for Klitschko without the benefit of a knockdown.

Klitschko maintained a brisk pace throughout the fight. He got off 802 blows in 10 rounds (a lot for a heavyweight) and landed 301 (38 percent). Arreola, meanwhile, had no answers. He barely threw more than Klitschko landed -- 331. Whatever activity Arreola could muster was futile as he landed a pathetic 86 blows (26 percent). It was virtually a carbon copy of the one-sidedness in the previous week's fight in which Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Juan Manuel Marquez. With one exception: Klitschko got the stoppage when Arreola trainer Henry Ramirez, understanding his swollen and bloody fighter had zero chance to win but still has a future in the sport, made the decision to stop the fight. Arreola, a proud fighter, of course wanted to go the distance, so it was a bit uncomfortable to watch him go on a crying jag during his postfight interview with Larry Merchant. But that was an outpouring of emotion in the heat of the moment after being blown out in his biggest moment. However, if Arreola had been able to drop as many right hands on Klitschko as he dropped F-bombs in the interview, he'd probably be champ today. Arreola needs to use the loss as a learning experience and understand that he needs to come to the ring in better condition and work his way back to another shot, which will be there if he can rebound with some wins. He had never faced a legitimate top-10 heavyweight, so for him to go from the kinds of fights he'd been having to facing Klitschko was like taking a top junior high student and throwing him into medical school. Frankly, Klitschko looked virtually unbeatable, especially in this terrible heavyweight era. Only his younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko, who owns his own assortment of titles, could give him a fight (one we'll never see). With Wladimir regarded as the No. 1 heavyweight, Vitali will have to settle for being No. 2 since we're never going to see them fight, as both fighters have said numerous times. There's a decent chance Klitschko will be back Dec. 12, perhaps against American Kevin Johnson. He won't have much of a chance against Klitschko either. Who does?
Vitali & KlitschkoAP