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Chris Arreola trying to set up fight with world champion Vitali Klitschko

Heavyweight title bout would be at Staples Center in September.

July 29, 2009|Lance Pugmire

Chris Arreola's promoter is trying to get the unbeaten Riverside heavyweight his first crack at a major belt and is negotiating for a fight against world champion Vitali Klitschko at Staples Center in September.

Arreola (27-0, 24 knockouts) is trying to become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican ancestry.

He was in negotiations to fight contender Oleg Maskaev. But then former cruiserweight champion David Haye backed out of a possible fight against Klitschko, who said he believed Arreola was a more attractive opponent.

Dan Goossen, Arreola's promoter, has been in talks with the Klitschko camp to put the champion's World Boxing Council belt on the line.

"Yes, I've had discussions, and I'm in those discussions," Goossen said but declined to elaborate.

Arreola, 28, is 10 years younger than Klitschko.

The Riverside fighter fought on HBO in April, knocking out veteran Jameel McCline in the fourth round.

Klitschko, whose younger brother Wladimir holds two heavyweight titles, is 37-2 with 36 KOs and has fought at Staples twice, losing to Lennox Lewis in 2003 because of a bad cut and defeating Corrie Sanders in 2004.

-- Lance Pugmire

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