LOS ANGELES, July 15, (Agencies): Unbeaten Deontay Wilder, robbed of his scheduled heavyweight world title defence against Alexander Povetkin in May, is ready to take his frustration out on challenger Chris Arreola on Saturday. “I’ve wanted to hit somebody since May,” said Wilder, who was training in Britain to face Povetkin in Russia before the challenger failed a drug test and the fight was cancelled. Wilder, 36-0 with 35 knockouts, will be making his fourth defence of the World Boxing Council crown in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and he was confident of making sure Arreola’s third title shot wouldn’t prove the charm. “Does he deserve the title shot, no he doesn’t,” Wilder said of Arreola, 36-4 with one draw and 31 knockouts. “But for this situation that we’re in with the short notice, is he the perfect guy? You’re right, he is,” Wilder said.
Arreola had a win over Travis Kauffman changed to no decision after a marijuana positive and drew with Fred Kassi in his prior bout. He beat Curtis Harper 15 months ago in his first fight after losing a title contest to Bermane Stiverne. “This is my third opportunity,” said Arreola, who was stopped on his stool after 10 rounds by Vitali Klitschko in 2009 in his first title shot. “I can’t let this opportunity slip away. “I respect Deontay. But once the bell rings, it’s time to go fight and it’s time to get that title. I want that title.”
After his fight with Povetkin fell through, Wilder saw Britain’s Anthony Johnson retain his International Boxing Federation heavyweight title with a seventh-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale in June, while Briton Tyson Fury, who seized the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization belts from Wladimir Klitschko last year put off a scheduled July rematch with the Ukrainian because of an ankle injury. Wilder said fitting in Arreola is a way to stay active in a quest to unify the title — and a way to keep his mind off the legal wrangling that followed the postponement of the Povetkin bout. Meanwhile, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is already boxing’s rising star. Welterweight champ Kell Brook hopes that jumping two weight classes will let him prove he’s just as talented.
“I want to test myself with the best fighters out there and Triple G is the best fighter out there,” Brook said. “I believe I am good enough to beat this guy.” Golovkin, a middleweight champion who’s perhaps the most feared active boxer because of his highlight knockouts, said Brook presents the biggest test of his career. “He’s the best in his division, but now I’m very excited. I understand the situation,” Golovkin said. Both fighters are undefeated — Golovkin is 35-0 while Brook is 36-0.
The Sept. 10 fight in London’s O2 Arena has allures for both fighters — it’s Brook’s hometown, but a new stage for Golovkin, a 34-year-old from Kazakhstan who has become a draw in the United States while fighting out of Los Angeles. “To be a great fighter, you have to do great things,” said Brook, who described himself as “an animal” who has “a leap and a step to this fight.” Brook has been hunting for a major fight since winning the IBF title, while Golovkin has had trouble getting any fighters to challenge him. Golovkin’s last fight was a second-round knockout of Dominic Wade in April.