Title fight to be at Staples

The hype began Thursday for a heavyweight boxing match that may actually create some long-awaited buzz in that long-dormant division.

On Sept. 26 at Staples Center, Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko will fight local Mexican-American Chris Arreola of Riverside. Klitschko is the older of the heavyweight-champion Klitschko brothers -- Wladimir is the other -- and holds one of the various sanctioning group titles. Wladimir holds three.

Vitali, the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, actually lives in Los Angeles now and has fought twice before at Staples, including his memorable 2003 loss to Lennox Lewis, when doctors called the fight because of the 61-stitch cut Klitschko had over his eye. He is 38 and went almost four years without a fight, from 2004 to 2008, because of injuries.

Arreola is 28, has a 27-0 record and was the top-ranked, mandatory contender for this matchup.

Most noteworthy are the knockout records of each. Of Klitschko's 37 wins, 36 have been by knockout. Of Arreola's 27 wins, 24 have been by knockout.

As Promoter Dan Goossen said Thursday at the well-attended news conference at Staples, "We don't expect this one to go the distance."

Each fighter was deferential to the other.

Arreola rejected statements made earlier by others that he was out "to take Klitschko's head off." He said, "I'm not like that. I'm just here to fight. There won't be a lot of that trash talking."

Klitschko jokingly asked Arreola "not to hit me so hard."

Staples officials said that the tickets, on sale starting Saturday, had been priced with a recession in mind. They said tickets will be as low as $25 and that 75% of the seats will be at the $75 level. The fight will be carried live on HBO.



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