Photos: Arreola Destroys Mitchell In One. Esquivias Stops Marquez In Nine

Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

INDIO, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2013) – Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola made short work of Seth Mitchell, dispatching the younger fighter in just 2-minutes 26-seconds of round one in the main event of Saturday’s SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. In the co-feature, Efrain Esquivias stopped Mexican legend Rafael Marquez in the ninth round of their 10-round junior featherweight bout.

Arreola of nearby Riverside, Calif., came into the fight feeling that Mitchell was out of his league. And he proved it.

A well-conditioned and poised Arreola landed a clubbing right hand in one of the first exchanges of the bout. Mitchell was stunned and already on wobbly legs. Following a push down, and moments later a clean knockdown, veteran referee Jack Reiss halted the action late in the round as Mitchell was unable to defend himself against the power punches of “The Nightmare”.

“I want to thank myself for putting the work in,” said a fresh and jubilant Arreola after the stoppage. “I worked my ass off in Phoenix preparing for this fight. I respect Seth for his power, but the big difference for me was in training camp.”

Arreola’s lack of preparation for big fights has been well documented. Coming into Fantasy Springs, he knew he needed to prove to his team, boxing fans and, most of all, to himself that he was not a shot fighter and certainly no stepping stone for Seth Mitchell.

“I have been my only downfall,” he continued. “I should only have one loss on my record. All my other losses are on me for not training properly. But I came here to win tonight. And it was easy work.”

A stunned Mitchell said, “I got caught. I am very disappointed. I was confident in my ability to win this fight. My heart just hurts right now. This was a big fight for both of us, a fight that I wanted. I didn’t want to step back after beating Jonathan Banks.”

For Marquez, the Mexican warrior who is likely bound for the Hall of Fame, his reflexes and power simply were not there against the younger challenger. In his first fight back in nearly a year, the former two-division world champion may have had his dreams of fighting for another world title dashed by a resurgent Esquivias.

Esquivias (17-2-1, 9 KO’s), of Gardena, Calif., found a home for his right hand by the fourth round. He was able to land it seemingly at will as the fight progressed. Gaining confidence in the middle rounds, Esquivias began to land the left hook to the body, further slowing the fading legend.

Esquivias drilled Marquez with a lead right hand in the ninth sending Marquez down. After a brief look, referee Raul Caiz Jr., waved it off without a count. “I am slow starter,” said an emotional Esquivias after the bout. “He caught me early, but I finished strong and that’s what matters.”

When asked about beating a legendary warrior, “It means everything. He’s one of my favorite fighters. When he beat Tim Austin I became a big fan of Rafael. Now, I am in the ring with him and it’s a huge honor. I am still his biggest fan. He’s a great champion.”

Photo Credit: Esther Lin Showtime
Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

Chris Arreola vs Seth Mitchell

Rafael Marquez vs Efrain Esquivias

Rafael Marquez vs Efrain Esquivias

Rafael Marquez vs Efrain Esquivias

Rafael Marquez vs Efrain Esquivias

Rafael Marquez vs Efrain Esquivias

Chris Arreola: “Mitchell Don’t Forget to Bring Your Football Helmet Because You’re Going to Need it.”

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 5, 2013) – Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KO’s), of Riverside, Calif. and Seth Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KO’s), of Brandywine, Md., got into a heated verbal exchange during Wednesday’s final press conference for their 12-round heavyweight showdown for the WBC Silver Championship this Saturday, Sept. 7, on SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition live on SHOWTIME ® immediately following ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Canelo Episode 3 Premiere, which begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

In the 10-round co-feature from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., former two-division world champion Rafael Marquez (41-8, 37 KO’s), of Mexico City, will take on Efrain Esquivias (16-2-1, 9 KO’s), of Gardena, Calif., in a featherweight bout.

Tickets for an event originally scheduled for Sept. 6 are priced at $105, $75, $55, $45 and $35 and are available at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com. All tickets bought for Sept. 6 will be honored on Sept. 7. Doors open at 4 p.m. PT and the first live fights start at 4:05 p.m.

Here’s what former world title challenger Arreola, former college football star Mitchell, Marquez and Esquivias said Wednesday from El Paseo Inn Restaurant on historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles:

CHRIS ARREOLA, Former World Title Challenger “He [Mitchell] says every time I’ve stepped up I’ve lost. You’re not a step up, I’m stepping down to you. You’re way down here. You’re a step down and remember that. I didn’t have to run the combine or do the 40-yard dash because trust me I do a six-second 40-yard dash and I don’t bench press. That’s not what I do. I’m a boxer and I’ve been boxing since I was 7 years old. I didn’t just start boxing just because I couldn’t cut it in the NFL or couldn’t cut it in football.

“I’ve been boxing my whole life and I’m going to prove it on Saturday night. I’m going to show you that you don’t belong in this sport. I’m telling you I’m more prepared for this fight than I’ve been in a long time. I’m motivated.

“If this man beats me, then I’ll consider retirement because there’s no way this guy could beat me. Not the way I’ve trained. This guy is nothing to me. I respect his stamina and his power. I respect every heavyweight’s power so I have to mind my p’s and q’s.

“He’s going to regret he took this fight. I’m going to make him fight every minute, every second of every round. Don’t forget to bring your football helmet because you’re going to need it.

“The difference between this training camp and any other is that I was in Arizona and not Riverside. I’ve been at the gym every morning and every night.. This time there’s no one to blame but me. It’s all on me. I’m the one who goes to the gym or doesn’t go to the gym. I’m the one who cuts corners. Me. And that’s something I had to get away from. Get away from home.

“There was only one car and one car key. Henry took me to the gym every day and made sure I was there. My cardio is way up, so much better than my last fight.”

SETH MITCHELL “Make no mistake about it, this was a fight that I wanted. I don’t talk a lot in the paper. I don’t Tweet. This is the fight that I wanted. Chris Arreola is a great fighter. He comes forward and applies a lot of pressure. But I don’t see anything special. Nothing I can’t take care of on Saturday.

“Every time Chris Arreola has stepped up he’s lost. He and his trainer do a lot of talking. But just know that I’m prepared and they can say whatever they want to say but they are going to have a fight on the 7.

“I’ve worked hard and I’m ready for this fight. I have speed, power and size. I’m the complete package.

“SHOWTIME puts on exciting fights and our styles complement each other so it’s going to be a great fight. If I was a betting man I know where I would put my money. “I started late so I know there’s a lot to learn, but on the flip side I haven’t taken a lot of punches, either.”

RAFAEL MARQUEZ, Former Two-Division World Champion

“Being retired never entered my mind. I took some time off and came back with [current trainer] Nacho [Beristain] because I feel like I still have something to prove to the fans.

“I’ve signed [with Golden Boy Promotions] for four fights, but my mind is on this fight right now.

“I hope he comes forward because that’s exciting for the fans. Everyone knows that’s my style and I want to make the most exciting fight for my fans.

“I have a lot to prove. I want to be a world champion again.”

EFRAIN ESQUIVIAS, Featherweight Contender “I want to fight the best fighters out there and I thank Thompson Boxing Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions for making this fight happen. I’m coming in real strong and ready to show boxing fans that I’m capable of competing for a world title. I’m not an opponent; I’m here to win.

“The fans are going to see a great fight. I don’t back down and neither does Marquez. My team and I created a great game plan and we’re hungry for this fight.

“Most people in the sport know about my father passing away from ALS. He’s the one who gives me the strength to continue. His spirit lives within me and he’s the reason why I fight.

“We went hard during our training camp to be fully prepared for whatever Marquez throws at us. I view myself as the favorite. That’s no disrespect to Marquez, he’s a future hall of famer, but I always feel like I’m the best boxer in the ring.

“It would mean the world to me to beat Rafael Marquez. Some people say he has lost a step, but I don’t think so. Look at his brother, Juan Manuel Marquez. These guys are built for longevity.”

HENRY RAMIREZ, Arreola’s Trainer “Moving his training camp to Arizona got him out of the norm and we’re in great shape. There’s nothing left now to do but get in the ring on Saturday.

“It’s finally good to see [Mitchell] speak up a little bit and show a little fire. It’s the heavyweights and it’s good for interest in the fight. Something we said got under his skin. I don’t know what it was but it was something. Both guys are highly motivated and it’s good to see.”

ANDRE HUNTER, Mitchell’s Trainer “Training has been going great. Both the guys are in great shape. We’ve been studying a lot of film. You can say this is his biggest fight but Johnathon Banks was probably just as big. It was on the same level.”

ERIC GOMEZ, Golden Boy Matchmaker “These are the two most exciting heavyweights on earth. You are not going to want to miss this fight. When you have Mayhem (Mitchell) and Nightmare [Arreola] you’re going to have a storm. You can just feel the intensity right here.”

ALEX CAMPONOVO, Thompson Boxing Promotions “We love it all. This is what boxing needs: two hungry guys going for it all and vying for a shot at a world title.”

Chris Arreola & Seth Mitchell on the Significance of Sept. 7th

NEW YORK (Sept. 3, 2013) – Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola calls it a “must-win” and may retire if he loses. Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell calls it “do-or-die” and a “crossroads fight for both of us.”

This Saturday, Sept. 7, former world title challenger Arreola (35-3, 30 KO’s), of Riverside, Calif., meets former college football star Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KO’s), of Brandywine, Md., in a 12-rounder for the WBC Silver Championship in a battle of world-ranked heavyweights on SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition live on SHOWTIME ® immediately following ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Canelo Episode 3 Premiere which begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast.

A gallant Mexican warrior who’ll forever be remembered for his classic four-fight series with Israel Vazquez on SHOWTIME, the respected former two division world champion Rafael Marquez (41-8, 37 KO’s), of Mexico City, will take on Efrain Esquivias (16-2-1, 9 KO’s), of Gardena, Calif., in the 10-round co-feature from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

Tickets for an event originally scheduled for Sept. 6 are priced at $105, $75, $55, $45 and $35 and are available at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com. All tickets bought for Sept. 6 will be honored on Sept. 7. Doors open at 4 p.m. PT and the first live fight starts at 4:05 p.m.

The 6-foot-2½-inch, 31-year-old Mitchell is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over Johnathon Banks last June 22 on SHOWTIME. Getting his revenge against the only fighter who defeated him, Mitchell dropped Banks in the second round, bounced back after getting staggered a couple of times and then thoroughly outworked Banks in the later rounds to win by the scores of 117-109, 115-112 and 114-112.

“Banks hurt me in the third round, but I recovered and felt confident that I won. I thought I easily won eight of the 12 rounds. I was ready to go 12 and with my stamina, I could’ve gone 15 or 20,” said Mitchell.

It was the first time Mitchell, who’s ranked No. 2 in the WBC, No. 4 in the WBA, No. 8 in the WBO and No. 10 in the IBF, went 12 rounds.

Looking ahead, Mitchell, who trains in Clinton, Md., said, “This is going to be a hell of a fight. Arreola applies pressure and has a heavy punch. He’s definitely the toughest opponent I’ve faced. But I’m ready, focused and excited. It’s going to be electric and I’m just looking forward to me coming out victorious again. On Sept. 7, Arreola is going to have to back up all of the trash he’s been talking.”

Offered Mitchell’s trainer, Andre Hunter, “Training camp went well. Seth is in fighting shape so we’ve been working on other things besides just conditioning. I have nothing but good things to say about Arreola. He’s a good boxer, he comes forward and he throws lots of punches. He puts a tremendous amount of pressure on his opponents and overwhelms them with his abilities. With that being said, Seth can win. We have a great game plan for this fight and are looking forward to returning to SHOWTIME.”

The 6-foot-3 ½-inch 32-year-old Arreola spent the last six weeks training in Phoenix. The purpose of relocating (along with trainer Henry Ramirez) was to guarantee that Arreola, notorious for playing hooky from the gym, would not miss a day of gym time. Arreola had a six-fight winning streak end in his last start when his nose was broken during a 12-round decision loss to Bermane Stiverne on April 26.

“This is a must-win fight,” said the WBC No. 3- and WBO No. 9-ranked Arreola, who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the world heavyweight title in 2009. “I respect his conditioning and his determination to be somebody. Mitchell was a good football player, but I’ve been in this game too long to lose to somebody like that. If I lose to some guy like Seth Mitchell I would seriously contemplate retirement. I’m not a gatekeeper and I never want be that guy you beat so my name looks good on your resume. I’m not that kind of a fighter. I’m a world-class athlete, a world-class boxer.

“It took me until I was 32 but I’ve finally grown up a little. For once, I’m doing what it takes to give myself the best chance to win. I’ve always been my own worst enemy, but this time it’s not like that. I’ve got to make sure I walk the walk, and that everything I say I’m going to do happens.

“I’ve always been my own biggest problem, my own worst enemy. I can’t blame anybody else. I work my butt off once I’m in the gym, but getting to the gym wasn’t always automatic. I’d always come up with excuses for not going. Out in Phoenix, we only had one car, and Henry did all the driving. He also had the only key. So relocating paid off. I put in the time. I did my training camp the way I’ve always supposed to be doing it. All I did was concentrate on boxing.”

According to Ramirez, “Chris can’t train at home, simple as that. His preparation before the last fight was no-where near what a professional fighter at that level should have – no-where near. Mitchell is a good fighter. I don’t necessarily feel he’s at that top, upper-echelon level that some are putting him at but he’s still a dangerous opponent. He’s coming off a victory over a guy that knocked him out. So, mentally, he’s overcome a hurdle — he beat the guy that knocked him out.

“I would expect him to be fully confident and to be the best Seth Mitchell that there is. What that is, I really don’t know. But I know it’s not enough to beat Chris. It’s been a different Chris for this camp. I knew everything he was doing. We went to the gym together. He didn’t have access to a car. There weren’t any missed days. Chris showed up for workouts twice every day. Mitchell is not going to benefit from an unprepared Chris Arreola, I can guarantee that.”

More on their upcoming fight and their past camps from Mitchell and Arreola below:

SETH MITCHELL

(On the fight)

“I look at this as a crossroads fight for both of us. He’s coming off of a loss, and I just avenged my loss to Banks. This fight would have had more steam if he hadn’t lost to Stiverne and I hadn’t lost to Banks, but this is a fight I’ve been talking about. I think our styles complement each other and mesh well. It’s going to be a great fight.

“He’s a hell of a fighter and I’m a hell of a fighter. The only thing I give him the advantage of is experience. I don’t concede anything else. As far as speed, power or boxing IQ, I’m just as good or better than him. He does have more experience, but I know that I’m learning each and every fight.

“It’s a do-or-die fight. I don’t mean that if you lose this fight, your career is over. But it is a huge, huge setback. I’ve gotten tremendously better over the last 15 months and I just want to show that. This sport is so unforgiving you have to be a quick learner. If I want to stay where I’m at, I have to continue to learn and continue to win. I had to win the second Banks fight to show I’ve improved from fight to fight.

“It’s just going to be me and him in that ring and no one else. Arreola has power, he comes forward and he can box. [Yet] every time he’s stepped up in competition, he has lost. It should be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts. This is a big fight for me and I’m excited to be back on SHOWTIME. I’m looking forward to seeing all my supporters in California.

“When the stakes are this high, it’s a high-risk, high-reward situation. Some people look at this as a cash-out fight for me. I look at it as a cash-in fight.

“I know Arreola is coming and when you fight him, you’ve got to be in shape. This fight I expect will be totally different [then the one with Banks]. Chris is going to bring it. He’s a come-forward fighter who throws a lot of punches. I’m not expecting him to sit out there and try to outbox me.

“I don’t feel comfortable talking about my strategy. I ‘m just going to be very prepared. My trainer and I have put together several game plans in case he comes in with something different than we’ve seen before. After the first couple of rounds, we’ll figure out which game plan is going to work best.”

(Training Camp)

“I’ve worked extremely hard, I’m already in fight shape and I feel great. I’ll be mentally and physically prepared to fight Arreola on Sept. 7.

“I take this sport very seriously. I treat my body very well. I train hard and I’m always in shape. [Going into the Banks rematch] it was always a question whether I could go 12 rounds, because I never went the distance. But as far as getting tired, that was the last thing on my mind in that fight. The way it was fought, I could have fought 20 rounds like that.

“The way I spar and train, even when I hit the mitts, we’re well over 100 punches per round. Towards the latter part of my training camp, I spar 12-14 rounds against two or three sparring partners that are coming in fresh. Conditioning is not going to be an issue with me.

“I got back in the gym two weeks after my last fight. We just worked on me getting better as a fighter, working on my defense and things of that nature. It’s the same preparation, just a different opponent.

“We’re just focused on Arreola. I’m expecting the best Arreola, and we’ll see what happens from there.”

CHRIS ARREOLA

(Training Camp) “It was totally my idea to relocate and go to Phoenix. We’ve trained in Las Vegas, Houston, Big Bear, places like that. But they were not quite far enough away. For this camp I wanted to be far away, but close enough. When I’m in Riverside, I find reasons not to train. In Phoenix, I didn’t have the opportunity to go out.

“I was in Phoenix for six weeks. It was disgustingly hot and muggy. It was like a sweatbox, but it made me work and I like it that way. Training in Phoenix kept me under the radar; not many people knew I was there. I was at the gym twice a day. I did my boxing in the morning, my cardio in the evening. All I did was box. I feel amazing and I trained and sparred with guys who worked my butt off. “I always schedule two training sessions a day before a fight. The thing about this one, I had to go with Henry every time. I actually do work if I’m in the gym. The problem has never been my work ethic. My problem was getting to the gym.”

(On the fight)

“If there is one word that describes me for this fight that word is ‘motivated.’ I’m motivated, much more than in the past. I’m motivated to beat this guy, to put him on his butt and in his place. There’s no way this man should beat me.

“The main thing is, I cannot give Mitchell any opportunity to win this fight at all. It’s all on me and that’s why I’ve put in the time.

“People say he can’t take a punch. Well, I can’t rely only on hitting him on the chin. I have to make sure and throw combinations and move my head. This is the heavyweight division. Sometimes, one punch can change everything but other times one punch is not good enough.

“My nose hasn’t given me any problems, and it is fine. I’ve got such a big nose. I broke it in four different places. He hit me with that right hand and just shattered it. I had surgery on May 10 and was able to start running again six weeks after that.”