Sunday, July 17, 2016

Big Fight Report: Deontay Wilder vs. Chris Arreola: The Bronze Bomber Picks Apart the Nightmare


By Peter Silkov

Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36koes) retained his WBC world heavyweight championship against Chris Arreola (36-5-1, 31koes) last night, July 16th. It was a clinical and at times brutal display, which showed that Wilder is maturing and improving as a boxer.

Fighting at the aptly named Legacy Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama, in front of his home fans, Wilder never let Arreola get into the fight. Wilder weighed 226 and a quarter pounds, to Arreola’s 246 and a quarter pounds. From the start, ’The Bronze Bomber’ used his snakelike jab to slowly pick his challenger apart, and constantly frustrate ’The Nightmare’s’ attempts to get on the inside, and turn the fight into a brawl.

Arreola started slowly, visibly conscious of running into the champion’s big bombs, but as the rounds went by, it became clear that either on the inside or the outside, ’The Nightmare’ had no answer to the champion’s speed and power.  The few time that Arreola did manage to get off any punches, they seemed to lack any sharpness, and bounced off Wilder harmlessly.  Wilder’s punches however, seemed to sting and shake Arreola every time he landed.

Arreola was floored heavily in the 4th round by a cluster of shots, and did well to last the round, as Wilder seemed to be going for the finish. At the end of the round, Arreola staggered back to his corner, and the fight could easily have been stopped at this point.  However no one has ever questioned Arreola’s heart, and he bravely carried on, although now Wilder was using him for target practice with the left hand.  After the fight it would be revealed that Wilder had broken his right hand in the 4th round, and torn his right bicep during his 4th round assault upon Arreola.  From the 5th to the 8th round Wilder relied almost exclusively on his left hand, pounding it repeatedly into the brave Arreola’s increasingly battered face. By the end of the 8th round Arreola was becoming a gruesome sight, with his face bloody and swollen, and his left eye almost closed. Even Wilder himself seemed hesitant to inflict much more damage upon his challenger, and it was a relief to all when Arreola’s corner pulled him out of the fight after the conclusion of the 8th round.

It was a impressive and dominating display from Wilder.  While there are those who questioned Arreola’s credentials for gaining a world title shot at this point in his career, his experience and toughness over the years is unquestioned.  This was one of those fights where Wilder was expected to win, and needed to win well to impress and over all he did just that.  While the fight went longer than most people had predicted, Arreola has never been the kind of fighter who is blown out early.  Wilder took his time in this fight and would most likely have ended things earlier if he hadn’t injured his right hand and arm in the 4th round.

The Bronze Bomber won every round against a challenger who was outclassed, but showed his usual heart and toughness, before he was stopped.  Unfortunately Arreola looks like a fighter who at 35 years of age, and many blood and guts ring wars, has reached the end of the road as far as being a viable world title contender is concerned.  That said, with his recognizable name and big-hearted brawling style, it is unlikely we have seen the end of ’The Nightmare,’ even though he should probably walk away right now. 

What was most impressive about this performance was the technical improvements by Wilder.  He has an unorthodox style and does a lot of things ’wrong’, but at the same time, he has showed that he is learning how to use his height and reach to its full potential. Many of his previous crudeness has disappeared, and has been replaced by a much smoother more educated boxer, whose mixture of size, speed and power, will make him a tough match for any of the other top heavyweights. At this point Wilder does seem to be the 2nd best Heavyweight in the world behind Tyson Fury, and a unification fight between those two next year, is something that the Heavyweight division really needs.

Fight of the night was the bruising battle between two welterweight southpaws, Sammy Vasquez (21-1, 15koes) and Felix Diaz (18-1, 8koes). This match was a good mix of styles, with the bull like aggression of Diaz, pitted against the more refined style of Vasquez.  The fight ebbed and flowed though out the 10 rounds, with frequent meaty exchanges.  Despite coming in as the favourite, Vasquez showed some serious defensive flaws as the match progressed, and Diaz slowly emerged as the stronger and more ring wise fighter of the two. Vasquez showed a lot of heart to keep coming back every time Diaz looked to be on the point of overpowering him, and he also had to deal with a nasty looking cut mouth.  Diaz looked to be unlucky not to have come away with a win after 10 rounds, with the scores of 96-94 (Diaz), and two 95-95s rendering the bout a draw.  However bearing in mind that Vasquez had two points, rather harshly deducted, due to his mouth piece coming out of his mouth twice, because of severely his cut lip, a draw was perhaps the fairest result after what had been a close fight.  Cue perhaps a rematch, which would be no bad thing, at least for the fans.

One fighter who definitely needs to walk away from the ring is Vic Darchinyan (42-9-1, 31koes.)  The former flyweight, and super-flyweight world champion is now 40 years old, which is ancient for a little guy, and has been knocked out in 3 of his last 6 fights.  Now fighting at super-bantamweight Darchinyan faced Sergio ‘Finito’ Frias (18-6-2, 9koes) and after a quiet 1st round, Frias landed a tremendous right hand in the 2nd round, which put Darchinyan down and out.  Hopefully Darchinyan will not be yet another boxer who continues to fight long after the lights have gone out for him.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to

No comments:

Post a Comment