Saturday night, PBC boxing returns to Fox as Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0; 35 KO) takes on challenger Chris Arreola (36-4-1; 31 KO). The fight is a 12 round Heavyweight fight, and is for Wilder's WBC Heavyweight title. Ring Magazine has Wilder as the world's #3 Heavyweight; Arreola is not in the top 10. Premier Boxing Champions Wilder vs. Arreola airs this Saturday, July 16 on Fox with a fight time of 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT. The broadcast also includes Sammy Vasquez (21-0; 15 KO) vs. Felix Diaz (17-1; 8 KO) at 147 pounds.
This is not the fight fans expected to see Wilder taking in 2016, but when a planned Wilder vs. Alexander Povetkin fight was scrapped due to a failed Povtekin drug test, a showdown with Arreola was thrown together. On the one hand, it's not a particularly close match-up, and should not test Wilder in any significant way. On the other hand, Arreola can always be counted on for entertaining fights, so it's unlikely this one will be boring.
How do these two stack up?
Wilder: 30 years old | 6'7" | 83" reach | orthodox stance
Arreola: 35years old | 6'3" | 76" reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Wilder: W - Artur Szpilka (KO) | W - Johann Duhaupas (KO | W - Eric Molina (KO)
Arreola: NC - Travis Kaufmann | Maj Draw - Fred Kassi | W - Curtis Harper (UD)
How did these two get here?
Deontay Wilder has been quickly rising up the Heavyweight ranks, emerging a few years ago as the latest American to wear the mantle of "the next great American Heavyweight." But while many before him have buckled under that pressure, Wilder is still holding strong. He won the WBC Heavyweight title (which doesn't make him the true king of the division - that's Tyson Fury - but it is indeed a legitimate title) in early 2015, and looks to make his 4th defense here. Wilder is a tall, powerful fighter, as his KO record shows - only one man has ever seen the final bell against him. But he's also had a reputation for taking pretty easy fights at times. That is somewhat unfounded, but this one won't help his cause there.
Chris Arreola was once that next great American Heavyweight, putting together an undefeated record before getting a 2009 shot at Vitali Klitschko. He lost that, of course, and has been kind of all over the place ever since. In his last 9 fights he has 2 losses, 2 No Contests, a draw, and 4 wins - like I said, all over the place. He's also really struggled with weight and conditioning at times. His last fight in December was originally an Arreola win, but was changed to a No Contest when he tested positive for marijuana. Like Wilder, Arreola is a power puncher, with a lot of devastating KOs on his record, but he hasn't scored a KO since 2013.
What can fans expect?
Bombs. Lots of bombs. Arreola is going to come out swinging, trying to be the man to truly test that Wilder chin. Wilder, despite his reputation, has developed into a more accomplished technical boxer in recent fights. He's not going to make anyone think they're watching Floyd Mayweather, but he's no longer the pure headhunter he once was. Expect him to wisely weather the early Arreola storm, then turn it on himself.
Prediction: Wilder KO, R4
Why should you care?
Arreola is not much of a challenger, but he's almost always a lot of fun, no matter what happens. He'll make this exciting at times, and then he'll likely be stopped in a big way - hopefully pushing Wilder closer to a huge unification fight with either Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.