Deontay Wilder sees Anthony Joshua-Dominic Breazeale as a ’50-50′ fight

Dominic Breazeale

Dominic Breazeale/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder holds one of the four championship belts, and he’d love to get the rest of them. That means he’ll be an interested observer Saturday when Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) defends his title against Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) of Alhambra at O2 Arena in Joshua’s native England.

Wilder this week gave his thoughts on that fight, which be televised at 2:15 p.m. (Pacific time) on Showtime.

“I definitely see the fight as a 50-50,” said Wilder, who July 16 will defend his title against Chris Arreola of Riverside at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox). “You’ve got two big heavyweights, and the challenger wants what the champion has, and the champion wants to keep what he has.

“It’s going to be interesting because we’ve seen Breazeale in a lot of wars. He’s almost been taken out by some of the smaller heavyweights. He’s been punched around, but he has always survived.  We’ve seen Joshua (get) busted up as well, but he has kept his composure, and this fight is in his backyard amongst his people.”

It sounded like Wilder won’t be surprised if Breazeale emerges victorious because, “I think he really wants it.”



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Chris Arreola, on title shot against Deontay Wilder, ‘Third time’s the charm’

Chris Arreola

Chris Arreola/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


LOS ANGELESChris Arreola of Riverside would love to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a major heavyweight world title. He’s already had two bites at the apple, but came up short in TKO losses to Vitali Klitschko in 2009 and Bermane Stiverne in 2014.

He’s going to get one more shot when he challenges undefeated knockout artist Deontay Wilder for his title July 16 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox).

“It is now or never,” Arreola told this newspaper before Tuesday’s news conference at the Conga Room formally announcing the bout. “Title shots don’t come that often. This is my third time, man. Third time’s the charm, man. I’ve gotta make this happen.”

A victory – especially considering Arreola will be a heavy underdog – would mean everything to Arreola.

“The main thing is history. That’s it,” he said. “I’m going to be remembered.”

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., won the title with a wide unanimous decision over Stiverne in January 2015. Wilder has defended his belt three times and was supposed to make his fourth defense against Alexander Povetkin of Russia on May 21.

However, Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium and that fight was scrapped. It was time to look for another opponent, and Wilder believes Arreola was the right choice for a fight that was made June 13, just more than a month before it will be contested.

“We know that Chris comes to fight,” said Wilder, who at 6-foot-7 is some four inches taller than Arreola. “We know that whether he’s in shape or out of shape, he’s going to give a hundred percent. And he’s going to sell tickets because of the toughness.”

Wilder said that to him, all of Arreola’s fights have been exciting.

“That’s what we need,” Wilder said. “And when you’ve got two guys that are hard-hitters that fight with their heart, and they try to get you out of there as soon as possible, what a great fight it makes for short notice. It’s going to be crazy, so I definitely think we picked the right person for this.”

Arreola has fought three journeymen since losing to Stiverne via 6th-round TKO at USC’s Galen Center in May 2014. He beat Curtis Harper over eight rounds and had a draw with Fred Kassi. Arreola then won a split-decision over Travis Kauffman this past December in San Antonio, only to have that changed to a no-decision when Arreola tested positive for marijuana.

This is hardly awe-inspiring stuff, but Wilder scoffed at the notion Arreola is not worthy of this chance.

“People said Arreola doesn’t deserve the shot, but who are they to say things about a man who every time he gets in the ring, fights with his heart?” Wilder said.

Arreola has taken a lot of heat over the years. Particularly, he’s been hammered about coming into fights out of shape. Against Kauffman, he weighed 236 1/2 pounds, his lowest since 2011.

But his effort in training and subsequent victory were wasted with the positive test. He was asked how fans can be sure he won’t have another dirty test that would disallow what would be a shocking victory over Wilder.

“Because (trainer) Henry (Ramirez) doesn’t let me out of his sight, you know what I mean?” Arreola said. “But in all honesty, man, I do have to take this serious and I have taken this serious.”

Arreola, 35, is 36-4-1 with 31 knockouts. Wilder, 30, is 36-0 with 35 knockouts.

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Deontay Wilder sings praises of Chris Arreola at Birmingham news conference

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Deontay Wilder was supposed to make the next defense of his heavyweight title against Alexander Povetkin on May 21 in Povetkin’s native Russia. But Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, and that bout was canceled.

Wilder announced this week he will instead defend against Chris Arreola of Riverside on July 16 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox). Arreola has twice fought for a heavyweight title, being stopped inside the distance by Vitali Klitschko and Bermane Stiverne in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

Wilder couldn’t say enough about Arreola on Wednesday at a news conference in Birmingham.

“As you see, Chris Arreola stayed patient,” said Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala. “You wonder why he continued to get title fights. It is his time. Some guys get chances after chances and some don’t. You can’t deny him. You can’t look past him. With the circumstances that we were facing, to come back and do a short notice-type fight, as far as looking for opponents, we knew it had to be the right person.

“Placing someone in a category doesn’t define who they are. We needed a fighter that would fit the description that he would fight with his heart, give it his all. I’m happy to introduce you to Chris Arreola. He is the perfect person for this opportunity. I don’t think there is anyone else who could take on this situation.”

Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) knows the 6-foot-7, hard-hitting Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) will be a difficult nut to crack.

“Deontay is a tough SOB,” said Arreola, 35. “An athlete has to be ready for that right hand and that jab. Be careful and be ready at all times.”


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Trainer Henry Ramirez: Chris Arreola needs to stay in Deontay Wilder’s chest

Chris Arreola

Chris Arreola/Photo  courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


It’s easy to say the third time might be the charm for Chris Arreola of Riverside, but there will be nothing easy about it when he challenges Deontay Wilder for his heavyweight world title July 16 from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox).

The fight was announced Monday afternoon.

Arreola will try to win his first major world title in his third try. He challenged Vitali Klitschko for his championship belt in September 2009 at Staples Center, but was stopped after 10 rounds. Arreola took on Bermane Stiverne for a vacant title in April 2013, but was stopped in the sixth round at USC’s Galen Center.

Now, Arreola, 35, has the task of trying to win the title against the undefeated Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs), a 6-foot-7 knockout artist.

“I’m thankful to Deontay for this opportunity,” Arreola said. “He has proven a great deal by winning the heavyweight title and by defending it three times. I’m very excited to step into the ring with him, put on a great show, be victorious and make history by becoming the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.”

No fighter of Mexican descent has ever been heavyweight world champion.

Wilder, 30, took the title from Stiverne via unanimous decision in January 2015 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It’s the only time Wilder has been taken the distance. He has successfully defended his title with knockouts of Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas and Artur Szpilka.

Wilder was supposed to make his next defense against Alexander Povetkin of Russia on May 21 in Moscow, but that bout was scrubbed when Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Wilder can’t wait to get his hands on Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs).

“This is the longest stretch (six months) 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,” said Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala. “This is another fight in that process.

“I respect Chris Arreola for getting into the ring with me, but we all know who the real champion is and I’m going to prove it. I’ve been training long and hard for a fight and now I’m going to take it out on Arreola on July 16.”

Arreola, who will be training for this fight in San Diego, is nearly 6-4. But his reach of 76 inches pales in comparison to Wilder’s 83. Arreola’s trainer, Henry Ramirez, has already had a very important talk with Arreola in this regard.

“I told Chris, ‘The safest place for you is in his chest, not only where you can work, but you can avoid the big right hand where he gets his good leverage on it from the outside,’” Ramirez told this newspaper by telephone not long after the fight was made official.

As for this being Arreola’s third shot at the promised land that is a world championship, Ramirez said, “It’s now or never.”

In his most recent fight, Arreola won a 12-round split-decision over Travis Kauffman in December in San Antonio. It was changed to a no-decision when Arreola afterward tested positive for marijuana.

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Chris Arreola survives third-round knockdown to beat Kauffman

Chris Arreola

Chris Arreola/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Chris Arreola of Riverside on Saturday got up from a third-round knockdown to win a split-decision over Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight semi-main event from AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Two judges – Valerie Dorsett and Ursolo Perez – favored Arreola (37-4-1) by a 114-113 count. The other judge – Wilfredo Esperon – had Kauffman winning 114-113.

The bout was underneath the junior welterweight main event between Omar Figueroa and Antonio DeMarco.


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Carl Frampton decked twice, but retains super bantamweight title

Carl Frampton shown at Friday’s weigh-in/Photo courtesy of Lucas Noonan, PBC


Carl Frampton of Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday afternoon was decked twice in the first round by Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., but Frampton recovered to retain his super bantamweight world title with a unanimous decision at Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas. The Premier Boxing Champions card was televised by CBS.

Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) won by scores of 115-109, 116-108 and 116-108. Gonzalez (25-2-2, 15 KOs), of Mexico, had  two points deducted for low blows. It was Frampton’s U.S. debut.

The semi-main event saw heavyweights Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) of Riverside and Fred Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KOs)  of New Orleans box to a 10-round majority draw. The scores were 95-95, 95-95 and 96-94 for Arreola.


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Chris Arreola stoked to hear what Hasim Rahman said about him eight years ago

Chris Arreola of Riverside on Saturday will take on Bermane Stiverne for a vacant heavyweight world championship at Galen Center in Los Angeles (on ESPN).

Arreola was reminded during a recent conference call about a sparring session he had with Hasim Rahman in August 2006 ahead of Rahman’s loss to Oleg Maskaev for a heavyweight title that month at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

As story goes, Arrreola was really going at it with Rahman in a Big Bear training camp. Afterward, Rahman apparently told a reporter that he expected Arreola to someday become heavyweight champion. Arreola never heard that, but he was stoked to find out about it.

“Well, first of all, that’s an honor, man, because I never knew he said that about me, man,” Arreola said. “And that’s a big honor to hear that because, honestly, I was there and I was working, man, and I loved being up there in his training camp, man. That’s the first big training camp I was ever involved in, and I watched him work, and I watched him work real hard. And one thing I do remember is that every time I got in that ring I wanted to make sure I gave him my all, because I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to keep getting those paychecks every week.”

This will be Arreola’s second chance to make Rahman’s prediction come to fruition. Arreola was stopped after 10 rounds in a challenge to then-heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in September 2009 at Staples Center.

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It’s official: Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne for heavyweight title at Galen Center

Although we reported this on Friday, Goossen Tutor Promotions on Monday made it official by announcing that the heavyweight title fight between Chris Arreola of Riverside and Bermane Stiverne of Miami will take place May 10 at USC’s Galen Center. It will be televised by ESPN.

Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) and Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) will fight for the belt vacated by Vitali Klitschko, who relinquished the title so he can concentrate on his political career in his native Ukraine.

“Vitali was a great champion, in and out of the ring, and the winner of this fight will have big shoes to fill wearing the green belt around their waist,” said Dan Goossen, Arreola’s promoter. “Chris will definitely be going into this fight with his back against the wall. It’s that type of do-or-die situation I believe when he’s the most motivated and dangerous.”

Arreola and Stiverne have already tangled once, with Stiverne winning a wide unanimous decision over Arreola this past April at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.


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Venue for Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne to be announced on FNF; could be Galen Center

Henry Ramirez, trainer for heavyweight contender Chris Arreola of Riverside, tweeted Friday that he will be interviewed on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from Morongo Casino in Cabazon and that an announcement will be made regarding the venue for the May 10 heavyweight title fight between Arreola and Bermane Stiverne.

We’re not sure how true this is, but we heard a rumor from a source that says the site will be USC’s Galen Center. One thing’s certain, the fight will be televised by ESPN.

Arreola and Stiverne will fight for the belt vacated by Vitali Klitschko.

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Chris Arreola’s camp displeased with delay of heavyweight title fight with Bermane Stiverne

It was about a month ago that the WBC announced a purse bid had been avoided when promoters Dan Goossen and Don King reached an accord for Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne to fight for the heavyweight championship vacated by Vitali Klitshcko in December.

Still, no date and venue have been announced. Goossen, Arreola’s promoter, told this newspaper this week he is hopeful he will have something on that no later than Monday. Meanwhile, Team Arreola is irked.

“Extremely frustrating. Extremely,” said Arreola’s trainer, Henry Ramirez.
He didn’t stop there.
“We put the Klitschko fight together in a fraction of this time,” said Ramirez, alluding to Arreola’s challenge to then-champion Klitschko in September 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles; Klitschko stopped Arreola after 10 rounds. “This has just been completely frustrating. Klitshcko made his announcement (that he was giving up his title) Dec. 15, over two months ago. “And here we are with nothing set, no date, no venue. There is stuff being kicked around behind the scenes, but nothing’s set yet.”
As for Arreola …
“I know he’s extremely frustrated,” Ramirez said. “But the thing I’ve tried to explain to him, I’ve said, ‘Look, Stiverne is going through the same thing, so all we’ve gotta do is be ready to go.’ “

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