Heavyweight titlist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola went face-to-face for the first time Tuesday at a Los Angeles press conference for their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & showdown Saturday, July 16 from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The fighters were together at the Conga Room at L.A. Live after Wilder had hosted a press conference in Birmingham the week before, that Arreola joined via skype.
“This is going to be an exciting fight for everyone. It’s two dangerous heavyweights. Two guys who fight with their hearts. It’s going to be an action-packed fight from beginning to end.
“People said Arreola doesn’t deserve the shot, but who are they to say things about a man who every time he gets in the ring, fights with his heart.
“I feel like this is a special occasion. It’s a short notice fight. A lot of guys said they would take it, but used the short notice as an excuse. It takes a lot to put together a fight. But when you can get someone who can make the best of this and put on a great show, it’s a job well done.
“There’s only one name who can make this be what it is. Every time he steps in the ring, he comes to fight. I think we chose the right person.
“This is going to be a great fight for boxing fans. I chose to go back home because of all the travel I did preparing for the Povetkin fight. I’m excited to be in my backyard and have the great support behind me. I won’t crack under the pressure.
“The fans will get their money’s worth. It’s two tough and determined fighters who are trying to knock each other’s head off.
“This was my longest layoff. I’ve wanted to be an active champion since I won the belt. When one door closes, another one opens.
“It’s up to Chris to take advantage of this opportunity. He has his own history that he can make and it will mean a lot to him.
“My mentality is to go all out. Everything I say, I really believe. I don’t need anyone to believe in me, because I believe in myself.
“I have a guy in front of me who’s trying to stop me from getting to the next level. I promise this is going to be an outstanding fight.”
“I’m grateful for this opportunity. A lot of people say that I don’t deserve this title fight. A lot of people said Deontay didn’t deserve his title shot. I said that. But when he got it, he made the most out of it. He beat the guy who beat me.
“He’s defended his title and done everything you’re supposed to do as a champion. I respect him a lot. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“I’m going to his backyard. I’m fine with people not recognizing me out there. He’s going to be dealing with ticket requests and I’m just going to be focused on beating Deontay Wilder.
“I’m not fighting the fans, at the end of the day it’s me and Deontay Wilder in that ring. That’s what I know about this sport, there’s a lot of talk, but at the end of the day, it’s mano a mano.
“I’m blessed to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.”