After a dominating performance to retain his world title, heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will have to sit out the rest of 2016 after suffering injuries during his TKO victory.
Deontay Wilder, who gained an eight-round stoppage of Chris Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday, likely will need separate surgeries to repair a torn right biceps and broken right hand that will require at least six months of recovery, according to his manager.
“Deontay’s broken hand will need surgery, and the biceps may as well,” said Jay Deas, who trains Wilder along with Mark Breland and Russ Anber. “We’d like to do both operations at one time so we’re not recovering from one for four or five months, and then the other.
“The doctor said that in most cases, you’re looking at six months, but Deontay’s an unusual person who recovers very fast. The biceps injury will take more time to heal than the hand because it’s bone on bone. We’ll see how Deontay’s body responds, but I wouldn’t count him out.”
Wilder winced in obvious pain Saturday as his right glove was removed after the fight, and he was taken from Legacy Arena to nearby UAB Hospital, where he spent most of the night.
Dr. James Robinson, the head physician for the University of Alabama’s athletic teams, confirmed both of the champion's injuries, which Wilder addressed on his Instagram account (see below).
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) believes he injured his biceps in Round 3 and his hand in the following round against Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs), who was floored by the champ in Round 4.
Wilder then relied almost solely on his left hand as he continued to punish Arreola, whose trainer, Henry Ramirez, asked referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout after eight rounds.
“I jabbed and hooked to the head and body,” Wilder said. “I sent a message to other heavyweights that I can bring it even with one arm. It’s my duty to bring the division back to the glory days.”
This is at least the third time that Wilder, 30, has broken his right hand. He had metal pins inserted into it after a break in his seventh professional fight, a 90-second stoppage of Travis Allen in August 2009. Wilder then re-fractured the hand against Bermane Stiverne when he won the world title in January 2015, although he didn’t require surgery afterward.
“I hurt my right hand on Arreola’s head in the third round. I felt immediate pain, just like against Bermane Stiverne,” Wilder said. “It hurt every time I hit him after that and I felt my hand swelling up in my gloves. I had to be smart with my right and pick my shots.”
For a complete look back at Wilder vs Arreola, visit our fight page.