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In This Corner... Francisco Arreola (part 2)

by 'Mean' Mike Duffau (writer), I'm the boss!, July 24, 2011

Credit: Francisco Arreola, Robert Richards
Francisco Arreola

The former champ continues his saga along with the conclusion.

Was there ever a particular fight or fighter that bothered you mentally?

You know the only one that messes with me from time to time is this guy, Amos Cowart. I know the guy, and seen him fight. We became good friends. I remember I just wanted to beat him, and really what I should've done was just knocked him out. I think I ended up doing more damage to him. He's one of the fighters that I really mentally damaged. If you look at him today, you'd think he's an old man. I still think about him...

Tell me about Redha Jean Abbas whom you fought in France?

This guy was a really good boxer. This was one of the guys I was telling you that he was beating me... He was taller and had a great jab. I was just looking for that opportunity. I remember getting him on the ropes and he would drop his hand. I remember stepping in and coming with an over-hand and he just crumbled. That was it! I knocked him out, cold.

I read somewhere that you fought this guy and he was a dirty fighter. How did you take him out?

Yeah, that was Jesus Muniz. He must have had probably thirty fights at that time. He was a Mexican fighter and he was dirty, he grab me... bump me... shoulder me. The only thing he didn't do was bite me. I just out-classed him and out-conditioned him. I was a clean fighter for the most part, but if you want to play dirty? I can play dirty.

So you know the tricks as well?

Yes! Elbows, heads, everything. You do it to me, I'm going to do it back to you.

What was it about sparring that made you good?

When I was like 14 or 15 years old I was sparring with 20 to 30 year old grown men. I'd spar with guys with man power and experience. That's what made me good. As a trainer I tend to want to do that and put my fighters in with veterans, because they learn from that and even if the guy does a trick on him they'll pick that up. By the time the amateurs get to the pros they'll know how to fight them. If you're a good amateur fighter you'll separate yourself mentally from other amateur fighters at a pro level. Big difference...

What type of fighter are you?

I love working the body. I would always break down the body. There was this one guy I fought, Richard Campbell and if you ever see that fight I actually lifted him up the air with an upper-cut and he dropped. Every time I'd hit him you could hear a 'pop' sound. When you hit somebody really hard you can hear that sound.

What was your best punch?

I love hitting the liver, because when you hit somebody there... it's a done deal. Boxing has three main objects: There's your pancreas, esophagus, and the liver. Those are the main targets you should concentrate on. I pin-point my shots. What you do is this... you hit the guy and work, and hit him and work. Eventually your going to hit that target and all you need is one punch and when you land it they are going to drop. When I saw an opportunity I move to a certain angle and I didn't throw a punch because I wanted him to relax. I would tap him because in his mind I wasn't hitting him hard. So when I have him relaxed, BAM!

I was a very strategic and technical fighter and in boxing you have to be a good athlete and a good psychologist. Body language is very important. You have to be a good actor in the ring!

What scarred you about the sport?

When they knock on the dressing room door and tell you it's time to go, and all the way till you step inside the ring and they announce your name. Think about this... we're going to go in the ring and beat the shit out of each other. If I steal something from you then you have a reason to beat the shit out of me, you understand?

So what reason did you make up in your mind to get yourself worked up?

It was always the same thing... you insulted me because you think you can beat me! I'm about to prove you wrong.

Tell me about your last fight.

It was with Juan Manuel Marquez and it was a 12 round fight for the WBO NABO featherweight title. The winner would eventually fight Marco Antonio Barrera and later they ended up fighting each other. At that time I wasn't doing good in school, I was a senior in college. I was under a lot of stress and I had been in a relationship since my career started with the same girl and the relationship had ended. I didn't have a trainer. I wasn't under any promotional contract with anybody, I was pretty much on my own. So there was a lot of instability which caused me to go from perfection to non-perfection. I needed to make things right outside the ring so I can do right in the ring. It was always my mentality to do the right thing, but it just never worked out. 'You know for a fighter to be back in the ring, the outside has to be right.'

Marquez was very hot at the time and a great prospect coming up and I remember I took a good shot and I went down and thought to myself if I'm unstable when I stand up they're going to stop the fight. I remember I took an 8 count and then the ref said, fights' over!

You mentioned something about being in the Hall Of Fame, explain that?

If you look at my record my only losses are title fights. I only have 3 losses throughout my professional career and I think I have enough fights and good wins to someday put me in the both the Hall Of Fames, Florida Hall Of Fame and Canastota. Eventually it will happen. They haven't put me in the ballads yet because they say I'm still young. It's just a matter of time before I get in there because I won two world titles and have the credentials to be a Hall Of Famer. It's basically who you know...

What did you do when you won your first world title?

All your life you dream about that as a child, you dream that you're a world champion and realize when you wake up it's not reality. You dream that so many times when you actually do win it... when I won it I slept with it for about two weeks and when I wake up I had to make sure it was real.

How do you want to be remembered in the world of boxing?

I want to be remembered as a good person who did right for his community and someone who did a good thing in life. I think everybody is given a talent that God gave you, whatever it was meant for you to be. I think when you don't do what your talent was you cheat yourself and you cheat your family and everybody else. I always thought boxing was meant to be as a child and I achieved that goal.

"I really enjoyed your story Francisco, and I'm sure your fans appreciate the insights of your boxing career. You're a great inspiration for any kid who wants to someday be a world champ. You will be their guide to the promise land." -'Mean' Mike Duffau

If you happen to be in the Tampa area swing by the gym, Legends Boxing Club, where the champ himself will be glad to give you a lesson. Here is the website:

About the Writer

'Mean' Mike Duffau is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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9 comments on In This Corner... Francisco Arreola (part 2)

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on July 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

wow cher! thanks for your awesome i told you before, boxing is a savage ballet of the mind. when he said that actor part it just blew me away because i had felt that about acting and boxing for a long was just something from instincts...thanks again champ!!!

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on July 24, 2011 at 04:15 pm

thank you julian!

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on July 25, 2011 at 02:47 pm

hi tj...thats why they call boxing 'the sweet science' dont throw punches just to throw them.

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on July 28, 2011 at 04:02 pm

garry the champ...thanks for readin'...theres alot to the science that alotta people dont realize but you caught on quick to see that its a journey less traveled.

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By Caballero_69 on July 28, 2011 at 07:45 pm


Too many people who know next to nothing think boxing is purely a physical thing. Francisco refutes that with his comments "I was a very strategic and technical fighter," and "you have to be a good actor in the ring." There is far more mental to this sport than it is given credit for.

Almost every fighter finds himself in the ring with somebody who is more skilled, faster, or more powerful sooner or later. Then, the heart and the head come into play. The race may not always go to the swift, but the match usually goes to the valiant and the savy.

Thanks for making this guy come alive in the small screen as a man as well as a boxer!


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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on July 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

whats crackin' larry?....boxin' is a form of chess game, you gotta be smarter than your opponent. francisco and the rest of the gang are warriors but theyre the nicest cats in the world youre ever meet. out-standing human beings...

thanks champ!!!

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By Caballero_69 on July 30, 2011 at 08:43 am


Your are so right - the best of the boxers are warriors. Our society forgets to honor the warriors at its peril.

I hope Francisco and others like him receive the respect and the opportunities they deserve.

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on August 01, 2011 at 03:57 pm

they will champ...its only a matter of time.

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By Roberto Arreola on May 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

I would like to add that my brother, Francisco, is highly respected in the communities he has served .... most notably for being a positive role model .... in both Tampa, FL and Bloomington, IL. He is still dedicated to the sport today and has helped many boxers improve their performances in and out of the GYM!! -Roberto Arreola

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