On Saturday night on the Fox network, boxing returns to national TV primetime from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama to welcome a heavyweight champion fight. Premier Boxing Champions will be showcasing the WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder (36-0 with 35 KOs), as he defends his belt against Chris Arreola (36-4-1 with 31 KOs).
Deontay Wilder has been through a lot in the past through months, unfortunately for him, nothing of it has to do with anything inside the ring. Wilder defeated Artur Szpilka in January of this year. He immediately called out Alexander Povetkin, considered a top 5 heavyweight. The fight was set to take place in May but then a failed drug test by Povetkin canceled the fight and stopped what would have been a career high payday of over 4 million for Wilder.
Other than the disappointment of losing out on that money, Wilder is a guy that likes to fight every 3-4 months, so with a 6-month delay, he is itching to get back in the ring. With over 10k tickets sold, Wilder is expecting to put on a show and then move on towards a bigger bout at the end of the year that could possibly involve Povetkin again. Only time will tell whether they are able to finally agree with get that fight going.
Wilder said he’s been waiting since May to hit something, now he gets that chance to hit something in the mold of Chris Arreola, a 13-year veteran of the sport, who has never won a world title, but has typically been a guy that will try his hardest and go down swinging. Arreola at one point was looked at as a top heavyweight fighter and once did get his shot at VItali Klitschko back in 2009, but was dominated to the point where his corner had to stop the fight.
Arreola has also face Bermane Stiverne, the guy Wilder beat to win the WBC title, twice, but lost both times, with the 1st by a wide unanimous decision and the latter by 6th round stoppage. It was the 1st time that Arreola had been stopped by him not being able to continue. Since that fight in 2014, Arreola has fought 3 times against non-contending guys, logging a close win, a draw, and then a split decision win that was ruled a no contest due to Arreola failing a drug test.
I’m going to pick Wilder to finish Arreola in the 6th round, but there are still a lot of questions about him. He still has only one significant win on his resume, and despite knocking everyone out on his way to winning the belt, the one guy he didn’t stop was that best guy he’s faced. He should be able to put away Arreola, who could be done, and move on to bigger things later this year.
One interesting part about this fight is that people still do not believe in Deontay Wilder. He does have thin legs, he has been shaky at times when hit, he doesn’t use his jab as much as he should. But despite all of that, he is not only still a top 5 heavyweight currently and he is probably PBC’s biggest potential superstar. If, or more like when he wins today, people will say it’s more about Arreola than Wilder.
Eventually, the proof will have to be given about Wilder. And when it does, he’s either going to be thrown to the top of the division, and ridiculed out of the top 10. Either way, you don’t want to miss it. Although, one thing that we have learned in boxing, especially recently, it’s to never make your expectations too high. So the best thing to do is just be happy when you do actually get a fight worth the hype. Enjoy the fight.