PBC on Fox Preview: Wilder vs. Arreola, Vasquez vs. Diaz
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will return to the hometown of Deontay Wilder as he defends his WBC Heavyweight Title against former title challenger Chris Arreola.
A welterweight matchup between Sammy Vasquez and Felix Diaz will open up the telecast.
Fox will televise this heavyweight fight live from the Legacy Arena and the telecast will begin at 8:00 PM.
The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.
Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)
Sammy Vasquez (21-0) vs. Felix Diaz (17-1); Welterweights
Sammy Vasquez served two tours in Iraq for the United States Army and is a fan favorite. He’s been very active the past two years and fought six times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once in 2016. He had a successful amateur career and was able to make it in the semi finals of the 2012 US Olympic Boxing Trials and was the runner up in the 2008 Golden Gloves competition.
His opponent, Felix Diaz, had a more successful amateur career and was a Gold Medal winner in the 2008 Summer Olympics and also competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics for the Dominican Republic.
Both boxers are southpaws. Vasquez will have a five inch height advantage and a four inch reach advantage. He is also two years younger than Diaz.
Diaz has not been anywhere near as active as Vasquez. He fought twice in 2014 and in 2015.
Vasquez has defeated the likes of Aaron Martinez, Jose Lopez, Wale Omotoso, Emmanuel Lartey, James Stevenson, and Juan Rodriguez Jr. Diaz’s only notable victories have come against Emmanuel Lartey by split decision and Gabriel Bracero. Diaz lost his last fight to Lamont Peterson in a close bout.
Vasquez would be wise to use his height and reach advantage and stay on the outside. However, if Diaz is able to work his way in, Vasquez does appear to have an edge in power. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Diaz only has eight stoppage victories.
This should be a close fight, and is a competitive matchup for the PBC opener. Vasquez should be considered a slight favorite.
Deontay Wilder (36-0) vs. Chris Arreola (36-4-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
The one thing most fight fans are pretty sure about is that this fight will end in a knockout.
Deontay Wilder has stopped every single one of his opponents except for one, and that was Bermane Stiverne. Arreola has stopped thirty one of his opponents and is also known for his vicious power.
Wilder will have a four inch height advantage and a very large seven inch reach advantage on Saturday night. He is also five years younger than his opponent.
Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance. Wilder has been the more active of the two, as he fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2014, while Arreola fought once in 2014 and three times in 2015.
Wilder, obviously, has won thirty six fights in a row and has yet to taste defeat. Arreola has gone 2-2-1 in his past five fights and only one once in 2015. His last good win was in 2013 when he defeated Seth Mitchell.
This will be the third time that Wilder has fought for the heavyweight title in Alabama and he has successfully defended his title three times. He hasn’t faced any of the elites in the heavyweight division at this point, but he has defeated the likes of Bermane Stiverne, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich.
Arreola has lost to Bermane Stiverne twice, as well as Tomasz Adamek and Vitali Klitschko. He has defeated the likes of Chazz Witherspoon, Travis Walker, Jameel McCline, Eric Molina, and Seth Mitchell.
Both boxers have had successful amateur careers. Wilder is a bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics and is a former National Golden Gloves Winner. Arreola was the 2001 National Golden Gloves Champion in the Light Heavyweight division.
Arreola recognizes that father time is working against him and stated, “Deontay is a very tough opponent so I have to come hard this time. This is my third world title shot and I have to make it count. The first time I was too young, the second time I got caught with a shot, but this time I’ll be ready for anything..”
Wilder, as always, is looking for the knockout and stated, “Arreola definitely has a style prone to a knockout. He’s a pressure fighter who will come forward all night. That plays to my style. I love pressure fighters who give me a challenge. They keep me moving and thinking. I love the sweet science and the art to it.”
This would have been a much more interesting fight in Arreola’s prime. It will likely feature some suspenseful moments, but Wilder will likely continue to roll and stop Arreola before the end of the bout.
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