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Deontay Wilder vs. Chris Arreola headlines FOX card on July 16th

With Deontay Wilder vs. Alexander Povetkin falling through due to the latter's failed drug test, the WBC heavyweight champion will instead fight veteran Chris Arreola on July 16th.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

If you were eager to watch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) go to Russia for a huge clash with Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs), your dreams were dashed when Povetkin tested positive for meldonium in a pre-fight WADA drug test. Instead of Wilder getting a $4.5 million guaranteed payday, the fight was cancelled. As Povetkin's team sorts out their mess, Wilder has been allowed to make a voluntary defense -- Povetkin was the mandatory challenger -- of his title.

So who in the WBC's top 15 rankings going to fight Deontay on about a month's notice? Kubrat Pulev is a viable ranked contender, Bryant Jennings is with HBO and coming off a loss, he already beat Bermane Stiverne, Artur Szpilka, and Eric Molina, and Dereck Chisora just lost to Pulev. Who will Wilder fight? Not to fear, Chris Arreola is here!

As reported by ESPN's Dan Rafael, Wilder vs. Arreola is set to be the main event of a FOX card on July 16th in Deontay's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Arreola is not in the WBC's rankings but will probably be reinserted somewhere in the newest update.

Arreola (36-4-1-2 NCs, 31 KOs) has won twice, lost twice, drawn once, and had a win overturned to a no contest in his last six fights. The 35-year-old Californian was suspended for 90 days after he had beaten Travis Kaufman last December in Texas, only to test positive for marijuana. Arreola also had a win against Friday Ahunanya in 2011 for the exact same offense. Chris has twice fought for the WBC belt, losing in 2009 to Vitali Klitschko via TKO after the corner stopped the fight, and then getting knocked out in the 6th round of a rematch against Bermane Stiverne.

Wilder's last fight in Alabama ended in a TKO win over Johann Duhaupas last September. The bout was broadcast live on NBC, but averaged under 2 million viewers and was the worst-rated PBC on NBC primetime event at the time it aired. Deontay's most recent ring appearance ended in a sensational KO vs. Artur Szpilka at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn back in January.

Will this fight be entertaining? Almost certainly, because Wilder is fun and Arreola is tough to put away. Will it be remotely competitive with even a reasonably good chance Arreola pulls off the upset? See this GIF for the appropriate response.

It's a busy time for boxing's heavyweight division, with IBF champion Anthony Joshua set to fight Dominic Breazeale on June 25th, WBA/WBO champion Tyson Fury rematching Wladimir Klitschko on July 9th, and now Wilder vs. Arreola will happen on July 16th.

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