Deontay Wilder, left, throws a jab at Chris Arreola during their heavyweight title fight Saturday in Birmingham, Ala./AP photo by Brynn Anderson
Chris Arreola of Riverside on Saturday showed the courage he typically does in a fight, but it wasn’t nearly enough in his challenge to heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Wilder decked Arreola in the fourth and otherwise battered Arreola for eight lopsided rounds, Arreola’s trainer Henry Ramirez asking referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight before the ninth at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala.
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) gets credit for an eighth-round TKO and has now made four successful title defenses. Wilder apparently broke his right hand in that fourth round and also tore his right biceps.
Arreola (36-5-1) for the third time failed to become the first boxer of Mexican descent to win a major title in the heavyweight division. He was also stopped inside the distance by Vitali Klitschko in 2009 and by Bermane Stiverne in 2014.
Shortly after the bout had ended, Ramirez responded to a text message to say that Arreola was “in good spirits” and that he was getting “stiched up.” Arreola was cut and his left eye was nearly shut.
Wilder says he now wants the other champions.
“My goal is to unify the division, so whoever got those belts, that’s who I want,” he said. “Yes, I want the (Tyson) Furys. Yes, I want the Anthony Joshuas. The question is, do they want me?”