Boxing: Heavyweight Titlist Deontay Wilder to Fight Chris Arreola on July 16

By Mike Sloan Jun 13, 2016
Unbeaten heavyweight knockout artist Deontay Wilder will be back in action next month, as he is set to defend his WBC title for the fourth time. Premier Boxing Champions on Monday announced that the “Bronze Bomber” will meet two-time title challenger Chris Arreola on July 16.

The showdown will take place inside Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, and will be televised live on Fox. The PBC on Fox broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Wilder captured his title by dominating Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds in January 2015, winning an impressive and lopsided unanimous decision. In 36 professional fights, Stiverne thus far is the only man that the Olympic bronze medalist has not knocked out. Wilder has vanquished his last three foes since winning the title, showcasing improved boxing skills and movement to coincide with his frightening power.

In Arreola, Wilder meets a foe known for taking obscene amounts of punishment which, in turn, leads to exciting brawls inside the squared circle. It’s a far stretch from Alexander Povetkin, whom Wilder was supposed to meet on May 21 before the Russian failed a pre-fight drug screen.

“This is the longest stretch that I’ve been out of the ring and I’m anxious to get back in and continue my quest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Wilder stated in a release. “This is another fight in that process. I respect Chris Arreola for getting into the ring with me, but we all know who the real champion is and I’m going to prove it. I’ve been training long and hard for a fight and now I’m going to take it out on Arreola on July 16.”

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Arreola’s entertaining style helped him amass a legion of fans, and he was poised for greatness, it seemed, until he ran into the powerhouse that is Vitaly Klitschko in 2009. The giant Ukrainian forced a stoppage after 10 rounds and it wasn’t long before Arreola lost for the second time, this time to Tomasz Adamek.

Arreola eventually bounced back by winning six in a row but “The Nightmare” dropped two bouts to Stiverne, the second via sixth-round knockout. In total, Arreola is 2-2-1 in his last five and in his most recent bout, he had a majority decision win over Travis Kauffman overturned and changed to a no-contest when he failed a post-fight drug screen.

Still, Arreola’s goal of winning a world title hasn’t escaped him, and he hasn’t given up on that dream.

“I’m thankful to Deontay for this opportunity, he has proven a great deal by winning the heavyweight title and by defending it three times,” said Arreola. “I’m very excited to step into the ring with him, put on a great show, be victorious and make history by becoming the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.”

PBC revealed that there will be an additional two hours of boxing coverage on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT immediately following the Wilder-Arreola tussle. Details on that, as well as a full undercard, will be announced soon.


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