Wilder retains title despite suffering injuries in fourth round against Arreola

Wilder+retains+title+despite+suffering+injuries+in+fourth+round+against+Arreola

Tuscaloosa native and bronze medalist Deontay Wilder poses for a photo at his local gym. CW File

Tyler Waldrep

Chris Arreola forced the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, Deontay Wilder, back on the ropes and delivered some body blows in the fourth round. The crowd of 11,974, a large majority of which was was cheering for Wilder only minutes before, should have gasped.

Instead laughter filled Legacy Arena as Wilder responded with a few thrusts of his hips. Then he let his fists do the talking and he knocked Arreola to the ground.

“The fourth round knockdown was a situation where he just hit me with the perfect shot,” Arreola said. “Nothing I could do about it.”

The sound of the bell allowed Arreola to survive the round, but it just got worse for the challenger after that.

Eventually his corner was forced to call it after the eighth round when Arreola’s (36-5-1) right eye began to swell shut. The crowd joined Wilder (37-0) in celebration of his technical knockout, but the defending champ wasn’t able to enjoy his moment for long.

At the end of the fourth round Wilder told his trainer, Jay Deas, that there was something wrong with his right bicep. After the fifth, Wilder’s hand was bothering him too.

“[The plan then was to] get back on the jab. Don’t let Chris know that there’s a problem, because that can only hurt you,” Deas said. “He still threw the right hand, Deontay’s going to throw it regardless, but we really had to pick our shots with it, but the jab became the key.”

After the fight Wilder announced to the crowd that he had broken his hand and torn his bicep during the fight.

“If I have one hand or two hands, you can’t deny that I’m the best in the world,” Wilder said. “I’m going to still give it to you whether I have one hand or two hands. I won’t stop. As a champion it’s my duty to keep going no matter what I’m going through. Pain ain’t nothing to me. I got a high tolerance on pain. When you’re dealing with fights, it’s not over until it’s over.”

Arreola said he did not suspect Wilder was injured during the fight. He was too busy watching Wilder’s left to be worried about why his right wasn’t coming.

“Let me give Wilder all the credit,” Arreola said. “He beat me with that jab, that strong jab, that smart jab, and he just came in from the outside and I couldn’t figure him out plain and simple man. I gotta give him all the respect in the world.”

Wilder took a trip to the hospital to get both injuries looked at before the night ended, and he took to Instagram on Sunday to thanks fans for their support and update them on his condition.

“I tore the muscle in my arm and I injured my hand real bad to the point where I bent the pins in my hand into a v-shape and I dislocated a couple of fingers as well too, that’s how hard I hit to bend pins,” Wilder said.

Wilder also confirmed that the muscle in his bicep is in fact torn. 

Due to the combination of the injuries suffered, and the logistics involved with scheduling opponents,  it seems unlikely that Wilder fans will get the chance to see the Bronze Bomber return to the ring this calendar year. The last time Wilder broke his right hand, in his January 2015 fight against Bermane Stiverne, he didn’t get back in the ring until that September.

Deas said any required surgeries would be handled as soon as possible, and said he expects the Bronze Bomber to heal relatively quickly from any injury he suffered tonight. 

“Yeah, I think he hits too hard for the bones that God gave him,” Deas said. I don’t think there’s any question that I don’t think humans were made to be hit as hard as Deontay can hit and something’s gotta give… and I think that might be what happened.”