WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) will defend his title in his home state for the fourth time, as he faces once-beaten challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, February 25, from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama.
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will feature the only American heavyweight world champion headlining his third primetime show on network television, after Wilder most recently stopped Chris Arreola after eight-rounds of action on FOX in July. The champion suffered hand and bicep injuries during the fight, but returns on February 25 fully healthy.
“I’m excited about defending my world championship for a fifth time and in front of my great fans at Legacy Arena in Birmingham on February 25,” said Wilder. “It’s always fun to display my talents in front of the hometown fans. It’s an opportunity that I always look forward to and it brings out the best in me. I’m healthy and I’m ready to put on a fantastic show.”
“I’m extremely motivated to fight for the heavyweight title against a great fighter like Deontay Wilder,” said Wawrzyk. “Fighting for the world title has always been my dream. To fight against such a great athlete as Wilder is an extremely difficult challenge, but one I am ready for. I have trained for this since I was a teenager. On February 25 I will step into the ring ready to fight and win against the most dangerous man on the planet.”
“The city of Birmingham is beyond excited to have Deontay return to defend his title,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “He has become a great ambassador for our community and we can’t wait to see him compete once again.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing in association with Bruno Event Team, start at $25 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale Thursday, December 29. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and by visiting AlabamaTitleFight.com. Fans can purchase the “New Year’s Package” through Monday, January 2 and receive two Upper Level Tickets for $35.
“We are thrilled that Deontay’s two surgeries went so well and that he rehabbed like the champ he is,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “As a result, he will be able to fight on February 25, in another defense of his WBC Heavyweight Championship against rugged Polish contender Andrzej Wawrzyk. We are not looking past Wawrzyk, but we believe we will find out that Deontay is back to full strength and ready for an active 2017, with major matchups ahead. We are happy to return to Deontay’s fighting home base of Birmingham, Alabama.We hope that Deontay’s fans will take advantage of the special ‘New Year’s Package’ being offered at this time. Happy New Year to all.”
“We are very excited that Andrzej Wawrzyk is getting the opportunity to challenge Deontay Wilder for the world title,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing. “Andrzej has accomplished a lot in his career by becoming a top contender with a 33-1 record. This opportunity is a ‘feather in his cap,’ and with a victory, he will make history and become the first heavyweight champion from Poland. I expect Andrzej to make the most of this opportunity and Warriors Boxing is excited to be a part of it.”
“We are excited to work with DiBella Entertainment to bring the fourth heavyweight boxing championship to the state of Alabama,” said Gene Hallman, president and CEO of Bruno Event Team, a leader in delivering event excellence. “Deontay Wilder always puts on a great show and we encourage Alabama boxing fans to show their support for the Bronze Bomber.”
The heavyweight champion from Tuscaloosa is itching to get back in the ring after defending his title four times thus far with stoppages of Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka and most recently Arreola. Before turning pro in November 2008, Wilder won the bronze medal at heavyweight for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games. He was the last American male boxer to medal in the Olympics until Shakur Stevenson and Nico Hernandez earned medals at the Rio 2016 games. The 31-year-old won the world title with a dominant decision over Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. This fight will mark the ninth time Wilder fights in his home state of Alabama as a pro.
Fighting out of Krakow, Poland, Wawrzyk has won six fights in a row, all inside the distance, since his lone defeat to Alexander Povetkin in 2013. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 27 fights after turning pro in 2006. Wawrzyk owns victories over Frans Botha, Danny Williams, Denis Bakhtov and Devin Vargas. He has won both of his previous starts in the United States, including a knockout of Mike Sheppard in September 2015 on a Wilder undercard at Legacy Arena