By Jake Donovan
BIRMINGHAM--Deontay Wilder is set for the fourth defense of his heavyweight title, as he faces veteran contender Chris Arreola. The bout headlines an 11-fight card taking place Saturday evening at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wilder vs. Arreola airs live on free-to-air Fox TV (8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. local time), along with two other bouts:
- Sammy Vasquez, Jr. vs. Felix Diaz (10 rds, welterweights)
- Erickson Lubin vs. Ivan Montero (10 rds, super welterweights)
FULL NON-TV UNDERCARD
The last of the six-bout non-televised undercard saw unbeaten heavyweight hopeful Gerald "El Gallo Negro" Washington knock Ray Austin out cold at 1:45 of round four.
Moving past the letdown of not getting the plum assignment versus Wilder himself, Washington was intent on making a statement in front of those in attendance. It took him a good three rounds to get his offense fully untracked, as the out-of-shape middle-aged Austin all but refused to engage.
Washington (18-0-1, 12KOs) took matters into his own hands in round four, scoring with head shots upstairs before unloading a straight right to put Austin (29-8-4, 18KOs) flat on his back to end the fight.
Ryan Martin finally gets to enjoy regular in-ring activity after riding out an exhausting battle with esranged promoter 50 Cent. The unbeaten lightweight - from Cleveland, Ohio by way of Chattanooga, Tenn. - put in some rounds in a unanimous decision win over ubiquitous journeyman Samuel Amoako (21-12, 15KOs). Scores were 60-54 across the board for Martin (15-0, 9KOs), who returned to the ring this past April following an 11-month forced hiatus.
Keandre Leatherwood picked up his fourth consecutive victory, stopping Louisiana journeyman Tyrone Selders in the 2nd round of their middleweight heat. Leatherwood - another Birmingham product - dictated the pace early and had Selders (9-11-1, 6KOs) out on his feet when a right hand clipped him on the chin in round two, causing him to clinch and tackle the streaking middleweight to the canvas.
A disservice was done to Selders as referee Jeff Dodson failed to recognize what should have been a knockdown. Leatherwood (17-3-1, 11KOs) atoned for the error, clocking Selders with a right hand shot to put him flat on his back. Dodson came correct, waving off the fight without a count at 2:31 of round two.
Kenneth McNeil bounced back strong from a knockout loss to Ievgen Khytrov earlier this year, scoring a violent 2nd round knockout of Robert Burwell. The pair of middleweights exchanged bombs from the opening bell, but it was McNeil (10-2, 4KOs) - a local favorite - who was the last man standing - literally.
Burwell (6-2, 5KOs) was clipped with a pair of left hooks to send him crashing to the canvas midway through round two. He somehow made it to his feet and did his best to fight back, but was unaware of his surroundings as McNeil floored him hard later in the frame. Referee Flynn Gerald decided to issue a count, but Burwell's corner and the commission raced into the ring to demand a stoppage, which came at 2:06 of round two.
Layla McCarter has now claimed three win in four fights with Melissa Hernandez, the latest coming in an eight round unanimous decision. Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 in a fight clearly indicating that both boxers have long ago seen better days.
FULL NON-TV RESULTS
Gerald Washington KO4 Ray Austin (10 rds, heavyweights)
Layla McCarter UD8 Melissa Hernandez (8 rds, welterweights)
Ryan Martin UD6 Samual Amoako (8 rds, lightweights)
Keandre Leatherwood KO2 Tyrone Sellers (middleweights)
Kenneth McNeil KO2 Robert Burwell (middleweights)
Robert Alfonso UD6 Jamal Woods (heavyweights)