BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Deontay Wilder dished a beating to Chris Arreola, mostly one-handed, and turned Arreola’s face into a swollen, bloody mess in an eighth-round knockout victory to retain his heavyweight world title before 11,974 on Saturday night at Legacy Arena.
Heading a Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox in front of his home state fans, Wilder, a Tuscaloosa native, retained his belt for the fourth time, improving to 37-0 with 36 knockouts. Arreola fell to 36-5-1, including 0-3 in heavyweight title fights, getting knocked out in all three.
But Wilder was not the same after savaging Arreola in the fourth round, in which he knocked him down and nearly stopped him.
Wilder said he broke his right hand and tore his right biceps, rendering his right arm useless after the fourth round.
“It’s broke,” Wilder said as he pointed to his right hand as he walked past the ringside media section after the fight. “I also tore my biceps.”
Wilder showed his arm to ringside media afterward, and his biceps was badly disfigured. According to promoter Lou DiBella, Dr. David Williams, a commission physician, diagnosed Wilder with a broken hand and probable torn biceps in the dressing room. Wilder was sent to UAB Hospital for an MRI.
“It showed me he’s a real champion,” promoter Lou DiBella said of Wilder. “He was hurt, and I thought he fought well under the circumstances. He tried to entertain, and he tried to hide the injury. But when I saw the biceps I could see it did not look good. And his hand also. It hurt to take of the gloves and he couldn’t even put his shirt on.”