Deontay Wilder to defend WBC belt against Chris Arreola on July 16
Undefeated American Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) will defend his WBC heavyweight title against two-time world title challenger Chris Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) on July 16 from at The Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder was set to travel to Russia and defend his title against Alexander Povetkin on May 21, but the challenger failed a drug test and the fight was called off.
Now he will instead face countryman Arreola, who receives his third world title shot following defeats to Bermane Stiverne and Vitali Klitschko.
It will be Wilder’s fourth world title defence and third in his home state of Alabama. He defended it with stoppage wins over Eric Molina, Johann Duahaupas and most recently knocking out Artur Szpilka in January.
"I'm always excited about coming home and being in front of my people where I'm the most comfortable.
"I've been traveling a lot, going over to Sheffield, England to train before I was supposed to fight Alexander Povetkin in Moscow. But because of his decision to use a banned substance, the fight didn't happen.
"I'm disappointed about that, but it's not going to stop me from being an active heavyweight world champion. It has also given me the opportunity to again defend my title before my hometown fans. It's always good to come home.
"This is the longest stretch that I’ve been out of the ring and I’m anxious to get back in and continue my quest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. This is another fight in that process. I respect Chris Arreola for getting into the ring with me, but we all know who the real champion is and I’m going to prove it. I’ve been training long and hard for a fight and now I’m going to take it out on Arreola on July 16."
Arreola said: "I'm thankful to Deontay for this opportunity. He has proven a great deal by winning the heavyweight title and by defending it three times.
"I'm very excited to step into the ring with him, put on a great show and be victorious."