June 22, 2016
June 22, 2016
Chris Arreola

Suzanne Teresa/PBC

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CHRIS ARREOLA remains defiant in the face of the criticism his shot at WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has received.

The two-time title challenger will face Wilder at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16, despite only notching one win from his last four fights.

Given that Wilder was set to fight dangerous Alexander Povetkin, only for that meeting to be ruined by the Russian’s failed drug test, Arreola is seen by most as a poor replacement, though he remains unpertubed.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity. A lot of people say that I don’t deserve this title fight. A lot of people said Deontay didn’t deserve his title shot. I said that. But when he got it, he made the most out of it. He beat the guy [Bermane Stiverne] who beat me,” he said.

“He’s defended his title and done everything you’re supposed to do as a champion. I respect him a lot. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Arreola is also not fussed about travelling to Wilder’s home state, where the Olympic bronze medallist has amassed an excitable core fanbase.

“I’m going to his backyard. I’m fine with people not recognizing me out there. He’s going to be dealing with ticket requests and I’m just going to be focused on beating Deontay Wilder.

“I’m not fighting the fans, at the end of the day it’s me and Deontay Wilder in that ring. That’s what I know about this sport, there’s a lot of talk, but at the end of the day, it’s mano a mano.

“I’m blessed to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.”