Deontay Wilder stopped Chris Arreola after eight rounds to retain his WBC heavyweight title Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama, about 60 miles from Wilder’s hometown of Tuscaloosa.
Arreola, 35, was game but never really in the fight, as the taller, more athletic Wilder patiently used his stiff jab to keep Arreola away and set up punishing power shots that eventually broke down and wore out the challenger.
Arreola was hurt by a straight right and went down late in the fourth round but somehow survived. However, by the seventh round, Arreola, while still trying, had very little left as the titleholder continued to beat him up.
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Thus, when Arreola’s trainer Henry Ramirez stopped the fight after the eighth round, everyone paying attention understood why.
Wilder claimed in the ring afterward that his right hand was broken in the fight, although he didn’t say when the injury occurred. He was then asked about his future.
“Of course, I want the Furys, I want the Joshuas. The question is: Do they want me?” he said.
The statistics heavily favored Wilder, who landed 152 of 346 overall punches (44 percent), Arreola 52 of 188 (28 percent).
Wilder won his title by outpointing Bermane Stiverne in January of last year and has successfully defended it four times. He is rated No. 2 by THE RING, behind only champion Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko.