Frustrated champion Wilder seeks to destroy stand-in challenger Arreola after Povetkin saga
Lee Gormley | July 15, 2016
Deontay Wilder v Chris Arreola
- WBC heavyweight title fight
- Sunday, July 17th
- Scheduled for: 02:00 BST
- Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Wilder meets Arreola after Povetkin withdrawal
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will collide with stand-in challenger Chris Arreola this weekend at the Legacy Arena on American soil, after initially scheduled opponent Alexander Povetkin recently failed a drugs test.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ was set to make the fourth defence of his crown against Russian Povetkin, but the bout was called off after the latter fighter tested positive for newly-banned substance meldonium, while a legal case has since overshadowed proceedings too.
Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) and his promoter Lou DiBella sued Povetkin and his representative Andrey Ryabinsky for breach of contract and damages after the failed test, but were counter-sued for defamation.
The undefeated American will now look to take his frustration out on stand-in foe Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) and he is 6/4 with Coral to stop his challenger inside rounds 1-3 in his home state of Alabama.
‘Bronze Bomber’ out to destroy Arreola
Despite the ongoing legal battle, Wilder has remained focused for his latest fight with Los Angeles contender Arreola, who will be contesting for the WBC strap for a third time in his career.
“I got served papers,” Wilder stated. “But I’m not letting it knock me off my game and my focus. I’ve been through worse situations and it’s just another storm I have to weather. My skin is tough.”
The 30-year-old reigning champion has repeatedly outlined his intentions of unifying the division, which currently boasts a wealth of talent including fellow title holders Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and admitted he will take out recent frustrations on his latest foe.
“I’ve wanted to hit somebody since May,” declared Wilder, who is 3/1 to halt proceedings in rounds 7-9. “Does he deserve the title shot? No he doesn’t. But for this situation that we’re in with the short notice, is he the perfect guy? You’re right, he is.”
Arreola hoping to be third time lucky
The champion’s 35-year-old opponent will be making his first appearance since December, when ‘the Nightmare’ had his win over Travis Kauffman changed to a no decision following a positive test for marijuana.
Before that, Arreola battled to a draw against Cameroonian Fred Kassi and his last win came over Curtis Harper 15 months ago, in what was his first bout after losing a title contest to Bermane Stiverne.
The veteran Californian enters as a 10/1 outsider to clinch a world title at the third time of asking this weekend, having previously lost out to Vitali Klitschko for the WBC strap back in September 2009 and Stiverne in 2014.
“This is my third opportunity,” stated Arreola. “I respect Deontay. But once the bell rings, it’s time to go fight and it’s time to get that title. I want that title.”
Champion itching to get back in the ring
Wilder last featured in January when he rampantly stopped Polish challenger Artur Szpilka inside nine rounds, and he is itching to get back into the ring, though admitted he isn’t overlooking Arreola.
“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,” added Wilder. “This is another fight in that process.
“When you’re in the hurt business, you have no choice but to stay focused on the test that lies at hand because if you’re not focused, you can get knocked out.”
The WBC title holder has only ever been taken the distance once in his career, when outpointing Canadian Stiverne to clam his current strap in January last year, and he is 8/1 to win over the distance this time around.
Wilder also boasts an impressive 18 first-round knockouts on his record and the devastating American is 8/1 to add to that tally in the early hours of Sunday morning, as he targets more high-profile unification showdowns in the near future.