Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola knocked out Joey Abell at 2:18 of the first round in a scheduled 12-round heavyweight fight Friday in Temecula, Calif.
Arreola (30-2, 26 knockouts) hurt Abell (27-5, 26 KOs) with a straight right that sent Abell reeling and then followed with several more hard, head-snapping punches, prompting referee Tony Crebs to stop the fight.
Abell, a decent boxer from Coon Rapids, Minn., had caught Arreola’s attention with several straight, stinging rights in what seemed to be shaping up into a competitive fight.
However, Arreola, one of the hardest punchers in the division, changed everything instantly with the right hand and then the follow-up flurry. Crebs jumped between them to save Abell from taking further punishment.
Arreola, from nearby Riverside, Calif., is known for his lax training habits but said he’s trying to change his ways under new co-trainer Ronnie Shields, with whom he trained for three weeks in Houston.
Arreola weighed in at 249.6 pounds, his lightest since 2008, which might’ve been a sign that he is moving in the right direction. In the end, though, his conditioning didn’t play a significant role.
He has won two consecutive fights after losing a majority decision to Tomasz Adamek last April. He was stopped by Vitali Klitschko in 10 rounds in 2009, his only fight for a world title.
On the undercard, junior welterweight contender Josesito Lopez (29-3, 17 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten prospect Michael Dallas (17-1-1, 7 KOs) at 1:47 of the seventh round of a scheduled 10-round fight.
Lopez, from Riverside, Calif., hurt Dallas, from Bakersfield, Calif., with a left hook and followed with a quick flurry that prompted referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the fight.
And 2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada (11-0, 10 KOs) of East Los Angeles scored three knockdowns and stopped Jon Schmidt (10-2, 6 KOs) of Minneapolis at 1:48 of the first round of a scheduled six-round super middleweight fight.