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.”

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

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.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

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.”

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

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.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Deontay Wilder to defend heavyweight title against Artur Szpilka in Brooklyn

 

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

For the first time since 1900, a heavyweight title fight will take place in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Deontay Wilder will make the third defense of his belt when he tangles with Artur Szpilka on Jan. 16 at Barclays Center (on Showtime).

According to a news release, the last time a heavyweight fight was contested in the borough of Brooklyn was when James Jeffries knocked out James Corbett in the 23rd round on May 11, 1900 on Coney Island.

“I’m excited about coming to New York City, I’m excited about displaying my talents and I’m excited about fighting at Barclays Center,” said Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala. ” I want to thank my opponent Artur Szpilka for accepting this opportunity that I’m giving him. I wish him luck. He’s going to need it.”

Wilder, who is 6-foot-7, is 35-0 with 34 knockouts.

Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) – a 6-3 southpaw – is from Poland.

“It feels amazing,” Szpilka said, “to get the opportunity to fight Deontay for his heavyweight world title.”

Szpilka is the No. 8-ranked contender to Wilder’s title.

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Deontay Wilder stops Duhaupas in 11th, Dominic Breazeale wins decision

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Deontay Wilder on Saturday evening defended his heavyweight world title for the second time by stopping Johann Duhaupas of France in the 11th round at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The bout was stopped by referee Jack Reiss at 55 seconds.

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., made his first defense in Birmingham as well, when he knocked out Eric Molina in the ninth round in June at Bartow Arena.

Wilder is now 35-0 with 34 knockouts. The only fighter he hasn’t knocked out as a pro is Bermane Stiverne, from whom Wilder took the title with a unanimous decision in January in Las Vegas.

Wilder was winning by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 99-91 at the time of the stoppage. There was heavy swelling under Wilder’s left eye, but he dominated and really beat up Duhaupas.

Also on the NBC-televised card, heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra is now 16-0 after winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Fred Kassi in the semi-main event. Breazeale, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, won by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 100-90.

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder to defend against Johann Duhaupas

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder will make the second defense of his belt when he takes on Frenchman Johann Duhaupas on Sept. 26 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on NBC).

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is 34-0 with 33 knockouts. He also made his first defense in his home state when he knocked out Eric Molina in the ninth round in June at Bartow Arena in Birmingham.

Duhaupas has never fought in the United States. But Wilder says Duhaupas will be a tough nut to crack.

“I know my opponent has great size and that’s what we’re looking for in opponents,” Wilder said. “He has a great record and he’s never been knocked out … until he faces me. I know Duhaupas is tough and he comes to fight and that’s exactly what we need.”

Wilder is 6-foot-7. Duhaupas, who is 6-5, is 32-2 with 20 knockouts. He is the No. 12-ranked contender to Wilder’s belt.

“Deontay is a good boxer, but I have the heart of a lion and the mental fortitude to handle anything in the ring,” Duhaupas said.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Vitali Klitschko steps down as WBC heavyweight champion ahead of political run

Vitali Klitschko has stepped down as WBC heavyweight champion so he can concentrate on running for president of his native Ukraine. Klitschko, 42, has not defended his title in some 15 months. Accordingly, the WBC has named him champion emeritus, meaning if and when he decides to continue his career, he can challenge the champion at that time.

This could mean that Bermane Stiverne and Riverside’s Chris Arreola, the Nos. 1- and 2-ranked contenders, will fight for the vacant title. But if Stiverne does not settle his litigation with his promoter – Don King – and is unable to fight, Arreola and No. 3 Deontay Wilder could fight for the title.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Deontay Wilder now 30-0 with 30 KOs after stopping Nicolai Firtha in 4th round

American heavyweight Deontay Wilder is now 30-0 with 30 knockouts after knocking out Nicolai Firtha in the fourth round of their fight Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on Showtime).

Wilder, who is 6-foot-7, connected with a mean right hand to the head of Firtha, who dropped to the canvas. When referee Lindsey Page saw Firtha could not push himself off the canvas, he waved off the bout without reaching the count of 10.

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is 28. Firtha, of Akron, Ohio, is 34. He is 21-11-1.

The bout was underneath the light heavyweight title fight between Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat.

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail