Vitali Klitschko and Chris Arreola have reached an agreement to fight on Sept. 26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, according to a reliable source.
Arreola turned down an offer to fight THE RING’s No. 1-rated heavyweight and the WBC titleholder on Sept. 12 because he felt he wouldn’t have enough time to prepare but accepted a second offer to fight two weeks later.
Klitschko thought he had a deal in place to defend his belt against David Haye on Sept. 12 in Germany but Haye decided to fight Nikolai Valuev instead, which opened the door for the undefeated Arreola (27-0, 24 knockouts).
Klitschko (37-2, 36 KOs) has fought twice at Staples Center, losing to Lennox Lewis because of a cut but proving his toughness in 2003 and stopping Corrie Sanders the following year. The Ukrainian is 2-0 in his comeback after a four-year hiatus.
The will be Arreola’s first opportunity to fight for a major title.
The brawler from Riverside, Calif., rated No. 6 by THE RING, has never fought at nearby Staples Center. He is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Jameel McCline in April.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at RingTVeditor@yahoo.com