Chris Arreola, left, reacts after absorbing a right cross from heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on Saturday/AP photo by Brynn Anderson
Chris Arreola isn’t the most talented heavyweight contender we’ve ever seen, but few have graced the ring with more courage.
Arreola on Saturday challenged Deontay Wilder for his heavyweight world title at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. Arreola was decked in the fourth round and rocked again after getting to his feet. He somehow made it out of the round before eventually being stopped after eight rounds.
He explained how he did it.
“Let’s be honest, man,” Arreola said afterward. “It takes a real fighter to be in the ring with someone like him. He’s a big man. We’re in the heavyweight division, man, this is the hurt business. You have to know how to deal with adversity. I get punched, I’m going to get back up.”
Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs), of Riverside, failed for the third time to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a major world title at heavyweight. It’s doubtful he’ll get a fourth opportunity, as the 35-year-old was thoroughly dominated by Wilder.
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) broke his right hand and sustained a right biceps injury as well in the fight, otherwise he might have been able to get Arreola out of there sooner.
“It was early – the third or the fourth round,” Wilder said. “It was from an (awkward) punch. I hurt the hand first, and then the biceps.”