AFTER his WBC heavyweight title defence against Alexander Povetkin was called off, Deontay Wilder rapidly rescheduled a bout for July 16 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Here he explains why Chris Arreola got the call to be his challenger: “As you see Chris Arreola stayed patient. You wonder why he continued to get title fights. It is his time. Some guys get chances after chances and some don’t. You can’t deny him. You can’t look past him. With the circumstances that we were facing, to come back and do a short notice-type fight, as far as looking for opponents, we knew it had to be the right person.
“Placing someone in a category doesn’t define who they are. We needed a fighter that would fit the description that he would fight with his heart, give it his all.
“I’m happy to introduce you to Chris Arreola. He is the perfect person for this opportunity. I don’t think there is anyone else who could take on this situation.”
Wilder’s trainer, Jay Deas added, “You cannot find a more action-packed fighter than Chris Arreola. If you’re not a Chris Arreola fan, you’re not a boxing fan. He is everything you want out of a fighter. He is tough, he is strong, he punches hard. He is determined. He is resilient. Then you have Deontay Wilder, the most athletic heavyweight in generations.”
Wilder insists he couldn’t let his last training camp go to waste. “Everyone knows what happened to my last fight. I was super prepared. I put my body through everything you can go through in the gym. Of course everyone knows what happened with Povetkin with my last fight. I was super prepared and everything. Travelled to a whole other country and continued training. I was a different fighter – a different Deontay with everything I did,” he said.
“I was ready to represent my country too. Things happen. This is boxing. It is a business. The saying is, ‘One door closes and another one opens.’ This is a prime example of that. This opportunity is opened wide. I understand being patient and patience is a virtue. I’ve been patient all my life. I am not an overnight success. I don’t believe in luck.”
He is pleased to be boxing once again in his home state. “We love working with the Legacy Arena and Birmingham. Each and every time, we add to history. People have been waiting for this, to have another fight here. It is crazy how you can seed and watch the love grow and now its blooming,” Deontay continued. “People are hungry for boxing here. They’re excited. Those that missed the first title fight, came to the second. Those who missed the second are going to come to this one. We are going to sell out the venue.
“We’ve been in camp. I am never out of shape. Just adding on to it. I’m tired, but this is what I love to do. If you love to do something, it isn’t really a job. So this is what I am dedicating my life to. This is what I am trained to do. I think it is what I was born to do.”