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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Chris Farina -

Chris Arreola's Last Stand ?

Former heavyweight title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KO’s) of Riverside, California will be fighting for a world title once again when he steps in to ring against WBC heavyweight champion Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 35 KO’s). Arreola vs. Wilder will clash Saturday July 16, at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama live on Premier Boxing Champion on FOX. We spoke with Arreola as he talked about his opportunity.

“I have to treat this like my last world title shot,” Arreola told Southern California

Arreola has been training in San Diego as camp began three and a half weeks ago. Working with his longtime trainer, Henry Ramirez along with conditioning coach, B.B Hudson, B.B. is the brother of longtime boxing strength conditioning coach, Daryl Hudson.

“This camp is much different whatever Henry or B.B says, whatever they say I am doing it. I don’t bitch and cry, I am hurting but doing. I am done with those days of training to lose weight I am coming in great boxing shape,” Arreola on camp. “We have tall fighters that jab well and move good around the ring,” Arreola on his sparring as he prepares for Wilder.

The 6 foot 7, Wilder is coming off a devastating knockout over Arthur Szpilka in January.

“His power is when he snaps his punches. He has abilities, he is tall and rangy, and he hits hard but from a distance,” Arreola said.

Wilder was originally scheduled to take on WBA champion Alexander Povetkin on May 21 in Moscow. The bout was called off when the Russian, Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance as Arreola was the champ’s next option.

“It was a sense of relieve knowing who I fight. The fact that I am fighting that big man Deontay Wilder, the guy I talked so much, smack about when he got his title shot. Well now its time for me to back the talk up. When he got his shot he took advantage of it and beat Stiverne” Arreola said. “Now it’s time for me to shut him up and people that say I don’t deserve this shot,” Arreola added.

Arreola pulled out a majority decision in his last fight over Travis Kauffman as he got off the canvas to win. The decision was later overturned to a no decision as Arreola tested positive for marijuana use and failed the post fight drug test now Arreola looks to redeem himself.

“I believe I won that fight. It was a tough fight we had sparred like 200 rounds before, I knew his tricks, and he knew mine. It was a very tough chess match fighting someone like him he is a very good boxer, kept coming, and I went down,” Arreola said. “The Travis Kauffman fight has got me prepared for this stage. I know a lot of people think I don’t deserve a title shot but it is up to me to prove everyone wrong,” Arreola added.

Still looking to become world champion this will be Arreola’s third shot at a world title. His first shot came in September of 2009, as the then young and undefeated challenger was stopped late in the fight against the WBC champion Vitali Klitschko.

“This is my third world title shot I have to make it count. I am the underdog I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So have to come in guns blazing,” Arreola said. “He is at the top but he is not the best. There is hole’s in everyone’s game he’s still a little green but I don’t think he has fought the opposition I have. He is no Vitali Klitschko, Vitali is one of the smartest fighters I have ever been in the ring with he slapped me around and I kept coming. I am not sure if Deontay can keep me away like he did,” Arreola added.

His next world title fight came in May of 2014 when he fought Bermane Stiverne in a rematch for the vacant WBC title and was stopped. Stiverne dropped a decision to Wilder in his next fight as Wilder has defended the title three times since then.

“I don’t believe he fought the same Stiverne I did. The way he looked against me and Wilder there is a big difference. He was ready for me and didn’t take Wilder serious at all,” Arreola said. “I am not taking away anything from Deontay because he beat him,” Arreola added.

Wilder vs. Arreola will be a scheduled 12 round championship bout as Wilder will be defending his WBC title for the fourth time with Arreola getting his third opportunity at a world title shot looking to be the first Mexican heavyweight champion.

“It really motivates me that I still have the opportunity to be the first Mexican heavyweight champion. That’s why I have really been training my ass off,” Arreola said. “I am glad I am not fighting in California. He has more pressure, it’s his backyard, he has the title and I am just coming to fight and take his title,” Arreola added.

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