Photo by Ryan Hafey/PBC
By Jackson Park / @jackson_park92
This Saturday, in Birmingham, Alabama, WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defends his belt against former world title challenger Chris Arreola.
After Alexander Povetkin’s failed VADA test, the super clash between Wilder and the Russian fell through. After looking to keep the bout on, Arreola filled the position. Arreola is a notoriously game and tough fighter whose aggressive, front-foot style often makes for entertaining viewing.
First-round stoppages over Seth Mitchell and Eric Molina saw the Californian’s reputation as a puncher rise. After a knockout loss to Bermane Stiverne in 2014, the road has been rocky for Arreola who drew with Fred Kassi, and failed a drug test following his close win over Travis Kauffman.
Despite this, the Mexican American still possess the big leveler in the form of knockout power. The Alabama born knockout king, Deontay Wilder has become a huge fan favorite in the states. A long run of consecutive knockouts following a points win over WBC champion Bermane Stiverne helped Wilder earn his stripes.
Although the Bronze Bomber has been relatively untested, his one-punch KO over solid challenger Artur Szpilka in January confirmed his devastating power. The champions tall and athletic frame has seen him utilize his boxing abilities in recent times, opting to punch and move on the back foot, standing at 6’7″, he holds a considerable size advantage over the stocky Arreola.
Despite many labeling this a mismatch, Arreola’s punching power, combined with Wilder’s sometimes reckless defense, could make for an interesting night. Either way, it is hard to see a 12-round contest, with the champion being a considerable favorite.