Sunday, 17 July 2016

Deontay Wilder Retains Heavyweight Title

Deontay Wilder dished a beating to Chris Arreola, mostly one-handed, and turned Arreola's face into a swollen, bloody mess in an eighth-round technical knockout victory to retain his world heavyweight title before 11,974 on Saturday night at Legacy Arena.

Headlining a Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox in prime time in front of his home state fans, Wilder retained his belt for the fourth time as he cruised against Arreola, who fell to 0-3 in heavyweight title fights, getting knocked out in all three.
But Wilder was not the same after savaging Arreola in the fourth round, in which he knocked Arreola down and nearly stopped him.

Wilder said he broke his right hand and tore his right biceps, rendering his right arm useless after the fourth round.

"It's broke," Wilder said, pointing to his right hand as he walked past the ringside media section after the fight. "I also tore my biceps."

Wilder, ahead 80-71, 80-71 and 79-72 on the scorecards when the fight was stopped, showed his arm to ringside media afterward, and his biceps was badly disfigured.

"[The hand injury] was from an [awkward] punch," Wilder said. "I hurt the hand first, and then the biceps. Look at my hand. This thing hurts."

Dr. David Williams, an Alabama commission physician, diagnosed Wilder with a broken hand and probable torn biceps in the dressing room, according to promoter Lou DiBella. Wilder was sent to UAB Hospital for an MRI.

"It showed me he's a real champion," DiBella said of Wilder. "He was hurt, and I thought he fought well under the circumstances. He tried to entertain, and he tried to hide the injury. But when I saw the biceps, I could see it did not look good. And his hand also. It hurt to take off the gloves, and he couldn't even put his shirt on."

But Wilder still managed to dominate Arreola, who took the fight on relatively short notice.

"He just kept me on the outside," Arreola said. "I couldn't figure him out, plain and simple. I have to give him all the respect in the world because he was just a much better fighter."

Wilder was supposed to face Alexander Povetkin in a much-anticipated mandatory defense on May 21 in Moscow, but that bout was canceled nine days beforehand; Wilder was in Sheffield, England, in training camp and about to fly to Russia the next day.

Povetkin had taken a random drug test April 27, and the results came back positive for trace amounts of the banned substance meldonium, and the fight was canceled.

Having put in nearly two months of training, Wilder, 30, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, did not want to let that work go to waste, and the WBC, whose belt Wilder holds, granted him permission to set up an optional defense while it investigated the Povetkin situation.

Arreola quickly accepted the offer, but even he admitted he did not deserve the title shot. He came into the bout just 2-2-1 with a no-decision (because of a failed drug test) in his last six fights, and he has looked like a shell of the explosive top contender he once was.

Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs) showed very little against Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) in what was likely his last chance to become the first fighter of Mexican decent to win a world heavyweight title. In 2009, Vitali Klitschko stopped Arreola in the ninth round, and Bermane Stiverne knocked Arreola out in the sixth round of their 2014 fight for the belt Klitschko vacated upon his retirement.

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