Veteran heavyweight spoiler Friday Ahunanya is the front-runner to be Chris Arreola's next opponent, sources close to THE RING's No. 10-rated heavyweight have informed RingTV.com.
Arreola (32-2, 28 knockouts) is scheduled to fight on the undercard of the July 9 Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara junior middleweight bout, which will be televised on HBO from Atlantic City, N.J.
The bout, which will not be part of the HBO broadcast, will be Arreola's fourth fight of 2011. The Southern California-based contender has scored knockouts of Joey Abell (KO 1), Nagy Aguilera (KO 3) and Kendrick Releford (TKO 7) so far this year.
Ahunanya (24-7-3, 13 KOs), a 39-year-old veteran from Nigeria, has only fought twice in the past three years, a 12-round decision loss to David Tua last March and a six-round points loss to Cisse Salif in May. However, the Las Vegas-based fighter's two previous fights were upset victories over unbeaten prospects Alonzo Butler (UD 10) in June of 2008 and Shane Cameron (TKO 12) in November of 2007.
Ahunanya has only been stopped once, a fifth-round TKO to Lance Whitaker in 2004.
Mike Mollo and Rich Powers had been discussed as possible opponents for Arreola, but Mollo pulled out and Powers, an inexperienced 13-1 former MMA fighter, was rejected by the 30-year-old contenders trainer, Henry Ramirez.