Deontay Wilder v Dominic Breazeale Preview6 min read
Deontay Wilder returns to the ring this weekend for the first time since his dramatic fight against Tyson Fury as the American defends his WBC world heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn.
The Bronze Bomber is the 1/6 favourite to win Saturday night’s bout at the Barclays Center and will be looking to put on a big performance to assert his authority in the division.
It has been frustrating seeing the expected rematch between Wilder and Fury fail to materialise, while any efforts to orchestrate a heavyweight showdown between the American and Anthony Joshua have also failed to get off the ground.
Instead, Wilder takes on Breazeale and the unbeaten champion needs to produce a dominant display to remind fans why he believes he is the best heavyweight in the world.
The 33-year-old has an exceptional record of 40 wins and one draw from his professional career. It is his knockout ratio which is even more spectacular with Wilder stopping 39 of his 41 opponents.
Questions may though be asked about the calibre of many of the boxers he has fought though, and this latest fight also looks to be a mismatch.
The Alabama heavyweight won all his first 32 fights inside the distance until overcoming Bermane Stiverne by unanimous decision to win the WBC world title in 2015. It was also the first time he had been taken past the fourth round in a bout.
Normal service resumed after this though with Wilder knocking out Eric Molina in the ninth round of his first title defence.
Stiverne fought Wilder again in 2017 but the challenger was hopelessly outclassed and after being dropped three times the contest was ended in the first round.
Wilder was given a stern test against Luis Ortiz last year in New York and had a major scare when in trouble in the seventh round, before knocking out the Cuban in the tenth round.
This will be his first fight since December’s astonishing draw against Fury in LA. It was an epic encounter with the British heavyweight appearing to be heading for a victory on points.
Wilder knocked down Fury in the ninth round before a brutal shot floored the challenger in the 12th round.
Fury incredibly got up off the floor and just managed to beat the count before the judges ruled a controversial draw.
Wilder held onto the belt although his technical limitations were certainly exposed by the Gypsy King.
Breazeale comes in with a record of 20 wins from his 21 bouts, with 18 stoppages and only one defeat.
The 33-year-old proved himself a game opponent, with strong resistance before being stopped in the seventh round by Joshua, in the IBF heavyweight title fight in London three years ago.
The 6ft 7in fighter was ultimately out of his depth against Joshua and had trouble in his next fight, after being knocked down in the fourth round, before a fifth round stoppage win over Izu Ugonoh.
Breazeale ended 2017 with a victory over Molina after his opponent was pulled out shortly after the end of the eighth round.
His last fight came in December with a ninth round stoppage of Carlos Negron in Brooklyn.
This is a significant step up though and Breazeale is the 4/1 outsider to pull off an upset in the world title fight against Wilder.
Wilder v Breazeale
The champion’s explosive knockout power is almost unstoppable and it is likely this will prove the difference as the fight goes on.
Breazeale has proved he is a durable fighter and will show some resistance but the most likely outcome is Wilder clinching a stoppage in the second half of the fight.
The Bronze Bomber often takes his time to launch his ferocious punches and is backed to win inside the distance with a victory between the seventh and 12th round in Brooklyn.
Deontay Wilder to win in rounds seven to nine
Deontay Wilder to win rounds 10 to 12