Deontay Wilder (37-0-0, 36 KOs) continued his rampage through the heavyweight division, defeating heavy underdog Chris Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs) by technical knockout and successfully defending his WBC title. Arreola's corner stopped the fight after the eighth round as the California native barely showed much effort in the final rounds.
Late in the fourth round, Wilder knocked down Arreola behind a flurry of punches. But Arreola beat the 10 count and continued to compete though with very little success. In a fight marked by several slow moments, Wilder landed 152 power punches compared to Arreola's 52.
Arreola struggled from the start, and barely showed much of an effort in the opening rounds. Still, the little-known heavyweight lasted longer than some might have expected. He emerged as Wilder's next opponent in May after Alexander Povetkin had tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
In the post-fight interview, Wilder yelled "Alabama" much to the delight of the over 11,000 in attendance at Legacy Arena in Birmingham. The 30-year-old later quoted Muhammad Ali by "floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee."
Wilder also revealed he had broken his right hand, which prevented him from knocking out his opponent. It was later confirmed that Wilder would go to a hospital to treat the hand and torn biceps.
Arguably the most dominant boxer in what is considered a rather weak division, Wilder called out his heavyweight contemporaries, including promising British star Anthony Joshua.
Wilder is expected to take on the winner of lineal champion Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko.
The fight was part of Premier Boxing Champions and was broadcasted on Fox.
Preview: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0-0, 35 KOs) will have the crowd on his side when he faces underdog Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday night on national television.
The Premier Boxing Champions event will be shown on Fox, providing both boxers an opportunity to gain some much-needed name recognition in a sport that most recently was dominated by welterweights like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. A June bout between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter was shown on CBS in front of a packed crowd at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and received strong ratings.
Wilder, a rising star from Alabama, was supposed to defend his title in May against Russian Alexander Povetkin but the fight was postponed after Povetkin failed a drug test.
Arreola, a little known boxer from Riverside, California, gets a chance to upset a champion seeking a major payday. Should Wilder prevail, he will likely face the winner of Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko. This is Wilder's first fight since his knockout victory over Artur Szpilka at Barclays Center on Jan. 16.
Wilder, 30, enters the bout with -5000 odds, while Arreola has +1400 odds. Wilder weighs in at 226 pounds, while Arreola comes in at 246. The 6-foot-7 Wilder has a reach of 83 inches compared to the 6-foot-3 Arreola's 76 inches. Both boxers use an orthodox stance.
The referee for the bout is Jack Reiss. The judges are David Hudson, Michael Ross and Joel Scobie. The main event should start at about 9:40 p.m. ET.
Here is how International Business Times scores the Wilder-Arreola fight:
Arreola barely threw a punch in the entire round. Wilder was only slightly active, but at least he did something. This was as slow a round as you'll ever see.
Arreola showed some more activity this round, but Wilder had a stronger effort. He landed a decent combination near the middle of the round. Wilder used his jab more, too. Very slow round despite a late flourish, and Arreola may have been cut after a right hand.
Better pace, with Arreola being more aggressive with some decent power punches that went to the body. But Wilder used his size to unleash a strong right hand and dictated the pace.
Interesting moment near the 2:00 mark, as Wilder did some showboating while Arreola was attacking with some body shots. But Wilder came back with a harsh uppercut. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Wilder used big swings that dropped Arreola who took the count. Wilder attempted to finish the fight with some vicious power shots before the end of the round, but Arreola survived.
In the first half of the round, Arreola showed few signs that he was knocked down in Round 4. Wilder was a bit more active in the final minute and was able to land a good uppercut. It's a bit surprising that Arreola is still in this fight because he has yet to hurt Wilder.
Arreola surviving this fight, and it's impressive that he is still in this fight. This was a quiet round with Wilder being a bit more judicious with his punch selection.
Wilder has laughed off some punches from by Arreola while against the ropes. The Alabama native looked a bit more active in the final minute, and was able to land an excellent left hook to end the round.
There was talk of stopping the fight, and Jack Reiss had a chat with the Wilder corner about were Wilder's punches were landing. Wilder looked good in the first minute. Seemed that Wilder has avoided going for a knockout punch, showing respect for Arreola. In the final minute, Arreola failed to show much interest in making this a competitive fight. Reiss may have to stop this fight.
Fight is over! Wilder wins in TKO as Arreola's corner calls off the fight.