Deontay Wilder weighs in, prepares for title defense

Deontay Wilder weighs in, prepares for title defense
Deontay Wilder weigh in (Nik Layman/Alabama NewsCenter)

Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola had different impressions of the scales on which they weighed in Friday. Wilder said the scale was inaccurate; Arreola said, right or wrong, it didn’t matter.

“My goal is not to beat the scales. My goal is to beat Wilder,” Arreola said of the World Boxing Council champion, who will defend his title at 7 p.m. Saturday. “My goal is to make him fight a dogfight that I’m gonna give him.”

Wilder has told media members that he has added weight, partly to add more power to an already devastating punch. The champion is  36-0-0 with 35 of those wins coming via knockouts.

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The challenger (36-4-2) weighed in at 246.2 pounds. Wilder tipped the scales at 226.2, a full 20 pounds lighter.

The champ dismissed the weight difference as a malfunction. He noted that the carpeted stage on which the weigh-in was conducted affected the readings.

“The scales are definitely off due to the surface of (the stage),” the Tuscaloosa native said. “Throughout camp, even when I worked out, I was in the 230 range. With the rug, the surface is off. Basically, it’s off weight.”

Chris Arreola and Deontay Wilder at the weigh-in Friday. (Nik Layman/Alabama NewsCenter)

Arreola, who’s bidding to become the first Mexican or Mexican American fighter to earn the heavyweight championship, initially declined comment on Wilder’s claim. He did say that weight is not an issue in the heavyweight division.

“The scales don’t matter,” he said. “They don’t matter at all. Once you’re over 200, it’s time to fight. It could say I was 252, 254. I don’t care.”

Following the weigh-in and obligatory stare-down, Wilder and Arreola posed together holding signs that read, “His life matters.” Each sign had an arrow pointing to the other boxer.

The display was prompted by the challenger, apparently in response to racially charged violence the past few weeks involving police.

“Arreola had talked to Tim Smith, who’s PBC’s PR guy, and Tim talked to me about it,” said Lou DiBella, CEO of DiBella Entertainment and co-promoter of Saturday’s fight card. “I said if Deontay was OK with it, I thought it was great. Obviously, it happened.”

Doors of the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex open at 3 p.m. Saturday and the first fight on the card is set for 4 p.m.

It was reported Thursday that there were fewer than 1,000 seats remaining in the $55 and $125 price level. There are more tickets available in the upper level, where seats are being sold for $20.

The Fox broadcast airs at 7 p.m. and features the heavyweight title tilt, a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The stare down. (Nik Layman/Alabama NewsCenter)
The stare down. (Nik Layman/Alabama NewsCenter)

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