WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KO) will defend his title against Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KO) on Saturday night in the champ's home state of Alabama. Wilder was supposed to face Alexander Povetkin, but the latter failed a pre-fight drug test and had to withdraw.
The fight will headline the next episode of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox. Wilder talked about defending the title in Alabama in this tweet from PBC:
The WBC heavyweight belt means a lot to @BronzeBomber. Defending it in Alabama means just as much. #WilderArreola https://t.co/aQPcZPrJXS2016-7-12 17:54:28
When: Saturday at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Last Time Out
Wilder Destroys Szpilka in January
Artur Szpilka fought fairly well early on, but Wilder caught him with a devastating right hand that knocked the challenger cold in the ninth round.
WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury stormed the ring and went nose to nose with Wilder, who was more concerned with Szpilka's health at the time. The agitated Wilder got his wits about him and came back at Fury with a few verbal jabs.
The two huge heavyweights established heat between them, but we're no closer to a unification bout. If Wilder beats Arreola and Fury tops Wladimir Klitschko in their rematch, perhaps the two can begin negotiations.
Arreola's Majority Decision Overturned in December 2015
In a sloppy display, Arreola earned a close majority-decision victory over Travis Kauffman, who dropped Arreola on a body shot in the third round.
Arreola finished the fight strong—by his standards—and that was enough to get the victory, but not enough to make anyone excited about his chances of beating Wilder.
To make matters worse, Arreola's win was changed to a no-decision after he tested positive for marijuana.
Arreola has a history of underachieving. Per this tweet from BoxingScene.com, he knows he's fortunate to get this shot at a world title:
Arreola: I Didnt Deserve Wilder Shot, Need to Make Most Of It https://t.co/bYcPUyjQTE #boxing2016-7-7 13:46:37
If this fight goes beyond three rounds, it'll be a shock. Wilder is longer, faster and one of the hardest punchers in the sport. The champion will win by early knockout.