Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora told the UK newspaper "The Sun" that he's set to face rising prospect Deontay Wilder June 15 at Wembley Arena. But Wilder has a pending legal situation hanging over his head, as he was arrested on Saturday morning, on domestic violence charges, in Las Vegas.
Reports say Wilder (seen in above Hogan photo knocking out Audley Harrison in his last fight, April 27), a 27-year-old from Alabama who won bronze for the US at the 2008 Olympics, was detained after cops came to a hotel and saw a "bruised woman" who indicated to them that she had been struck by the boxer.
I checked in with Wilder's trainer, Jay Deas, to get more details. He said that reports of a done deal on a Wilder-Chisora fighter are premature. "My understanding is that (Chisora promoter) Frank Warren announced the fight, but we haven't signed a contract," Deas said. "I don't want to accept a fight, sign a deal and then in three weeks find out that travel is not possible, or there are other legal issues...I don't know why they made the announcement. I do like the fight, and if it doesn't happen June 15, we'd like to do it as soon as we could."
Deas referred me to attorney Paul Patterson, out of Tuscaloosa, who is handling Wilder's case, for more info. Patterson said that the dispute between Wilder and the woman came about because Deontay was "under the false impression that she was stealing from him."
The lawyer said the two involved in the disagreement have made amends. "He has talked to her, apologized, and she has accepted," he told me. The lawyer said the woman was an "acquiantance" who was part of a crew who traveled to Las Vegas from Alabama to watch the Mayweather-Guerrero fight on Saturday, May 4.
Patterson said that the woman could not be characterized as a paramour of Wilder, who is married, he said. "I am puzzled why Nevada charged Deontay under a domestic heading," he said. An arraignment will take place in a few weeks, he stated, and Wilder will meet with a Nevada criminal attorney to discuss his options, and also confer with promoter Golden Boy. Patterson said the subject of traveling out of the country for a fight will be discussed. "We's request the blessing of a judge to do so," said Patterson, who said he wasn't sure on the UK stance on allowing travel into the UK for non-citizens facing legal issues, especially of a physical nature.
The attorney told me he has known Wilder for about seven years and invited him to work at his law office when the boxer was healing up from a broken hand in 2009. "This is totally out of character for Deontay," he said. "He did an excellent job and the staff felt comfortable around him, especially the ladies there. He looks at this as a lesson learned. He acted in haste, the victim has accepted an apology and we hope he can move on, and get a shot at the heavyweight world championship."