BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder's 2016 fight schedule is over.
Although Wilder retained his belt with a one-sided, eighth-round knockout of Chris Arreola on Saturday night at Legacy Arena, the two significant injuries Wilder suffered in the bout will keep him out of the ring for the rest of the year, promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com on Sunday.
Wilder, who broke his right hand and suffered a probable right biceps tear, spent most of the night at UAB Hospital. He will be back at the hospital soon, likely for two surgeries, one to repair each injury, DiBella said.
"He's definitely going to need surgery on his right hand," DiBella said. "He will have it as soon as is practical. He will likely also require surgery on his biceps."
After the fight, Wilder, who was obviously in pain, winced as his right glove was removed and had ice put on his biceps. Then he came to ringside and told media members that he believed his hand was broken and displayed his disfigured biceps. Later in the dressing room, Dr. David Williams, an Alabama commission physician, diagnosed the broken hand and said Wilder also had a probable distal biceps tear.
The 30-year-old Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), one of boxing's biggest punchers, has broken his right hand at least twice previously. After a first-round knockout of Travis Allen in 2009 (Wilder's seventh professional fight), Wilder had the hand surgically repaired; pins were inserted to stabilize it. Wilder suffered a stress fracture in the same spot during his world title victory against Bermane Stiverne in January 2015, although he did not require a second procedure.
Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, likely suffered the injuries against Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs) in the fourth round, when Wilder badly hurt Arreola, knocked him down with an onslaught of shots, including a big right hand, and then nearly stopped him in the final seconds of the round.
"Deontay is definitely out for the remainder of the year, but we will know more in the next few days," DiBella said.
Wilder fought through the injuries but essentially stopped using his right hand after the fourth round. But he was strong enough with his left jab and hook to continue breaking down Arreola, 35, of Riverside, California, until his trainer, Henry Ramirez, asked referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout after the eighth round. Arreola's left eye was swollen closed, and he had a bad cut over his right eye.
"These are very significant injuries and he was hurt early in the fight, so the fact that Deontay kept up his work rate as a one-armed fighter was pretty remarkable," DiBella said. "He put such a beating on Arreola with one arm. Some damage was done early, but Deontay showed huge heart and will. He has the heart of a lion, the heart of a champion. There's no reason to think he won't be back and be fine in 2017."
Also on Sunday, Wilder's team, including DiBella, co-manager Shelly Finkel and DiBella attorneys Alex Dombroff and Judd Burstein, met for about two hours with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman and others from the sanctioning body, whose title Wilder holds, to discuss the situation related to the failed drug test of mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin of Russia. DiBella declined to discuss the specifics of the meeting.
Wilder was supposed to fight Povetkin on May 21 in Russia, but Povetkin tested positive for trace amounts of the banned substance meldonium and the fight was called off nine days beforehand. The WBC then permitted Wilder to have an optional defense, which came against Arreola.
About two weeks ago, Povetkin and his team met with WBC officials to present their side of the story. The WBC has to decide whether Povetkin will keep his mandatory status and if there will be any punishment.