NEW YORK – In the acrimonious preparation of Deontay Wilder, world heavyweight title holder, against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale, Wilder spent a lot of time saying how much he wanted to hurt him.
Wilder even insisted that he could legally kill his opponent in the ring, claiming a few days before their Saturday night fight that boxing "is the only sport where one can kill a man and be paid at the same time, it's legal, so why not use my right to do it? "
Although Wilder did not cause this type of damage, he nevertheless cleared Breazeale of a huge right hand for a violent first-round victory in front of an announced crowd of 13,181 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Wilder, one of the big hitters of all time, retained his world title for the ninth time by winning one of the most spectacular KOs of his career. This will undoubtedly be a candidate for KO of the year.
"Everything just came out of me tonight," said Wilder. "I know it's been a big buildup, there has been a lot of animosity and a lot of words that have been spoken, and it just came out of me tonight." That's what makes boxing as formidable. "
Keeping his title for the ninth time in a row, Wilder tied Muhammad Ali (during his first reign), Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson (his first reign) and Lennox Lewis (his second reign) on the heavyweight list. The all time record for a division is 25 by Joe Louis. Larry Holmes (20), Wladimir Klitschko (18), Vitali Klitschko (11), Tommy Burns (11) and Ali (10 in his second reign).
The fight started with a bang and ended quickly after that.
One of Wilder's right hands injured giant Breazeale, a 6-foot-7 giant, and then another with the one that sent Breazeale to the ropes. Breazeale shook his head and smiled as if the punch did not hurt, but it was clear. Wilder was everywhere on him and was punching.
"I saw him slow down a bit, when I hit him with the right hand the first time, his body language changed," Wilder said. "When you've been with so many guys, you can recognize body language."
Breazeale mounted a short rally in which he also landed two straight hands – the only two punches he had during his 10 combat attempts, according to CompuBox – one of which caused him to lose the fight. balance to Wilder, but Wilder was not discouraged. He continued to swing in what turned into slugfest.
It is not wise for anyone to strike with a man as powerful as Wilder, who then unleashed a monstrous right hand that connected to the chin and dropped Breazeale on his back in the shape of an eagle. Breazeale tried to get up, but referee Harvey Dock counted it after 2 minutes 17 seconds.
Wilder recorded 9 shots on 35 (26%), but only one really counted.
"I think the referee stopped him a bit early because I could hear him say seven and eight, but that's boxing," said Breazeale, whose series of victories in three fights has ended with a smashing end. "He did his job and made us safe for our next fight.I got up and my legs are under me.It's the heavyweight division, so big guys are going to have big shots.
"It was a situation in which he had hit the big right hand before me, I thought I was going to be in the last few rounds, I will be back and I will try the heavyweight title again."
The intense animosity between Wilder and (41-0-1, 40 KO's), 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs), 33, of Eastvale, California, resulted from a incident occurred in February 2017, when Wilder retained his title and Breazeale won the under-played card in Birmingham, Alabama. Later in the evening, the fighters and their teams clashed at the Fighting Hotel. Breazeale claimed that Wilder's younger brother, Marsellos, hit him in the head from behind.
After Saturday's fight, however, the Wilder of 223 ¼ pound, exceeded by 32 pounds against Breazeale by 255 ¼ pound, declared that the coolness had been put to rest.
"I just told Breazeale that I love him and, of course, I want to see him go home to his family," Wilder said. "I know we say some things, but when you can fight a man, then kiss and kiss him, I want the world to be like that, we shake hands and we live to see a other day, and that's all on. "
Then the attention is turned to the future. The biggest battle in this sport would be Wilder against the three-belt title holder, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KO), the British star who is due to make his US debut against Andy Ruiz Jr. on June 1 at Madison Square Garden New York. In June 2016, Breazeale got his first shot against a world title against Joshua, who dominated but needed seven rounds to knock him out.
There have been various attempts to fight a fight between Wilder and Joshua, but they have failed, boxers finding themselves on different TV platforms and arguing over various aspects of an agreement.
There is also the question of a rematch with lineman Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), of England, which Wilder has knocked down twice in a match. no one separated in December. The revenge was accepted and about to be signed when Fury changed course and signed a joint promotion agreement with Top Rank to switch to ESPN, where he will make his debut on ESPN + against Tom Schwarz on 15 June in Las Vegas.
Wilder would have liked that rematch, but he understands Fury's decision and insists that fans be able to attend these fights, even though Wilder's next fight will likely be a revenge against Luis "King Kong" Ortiz – which he has stunned at the 10th day. About 14 months ago, at a sensational slugfest, also at the Barclays Center – or a fight with the New York-based Polish competitor, Adam Kownacki.
"I understand what Tyson Fury did," said Wilder. "When you're dropped on the canvas like that, I understand that you have to get back together, but the return match will take place, like all the other fights.The awesome thing is that all these fights are being discussed I just want you to have patience.
"You know what they say – good things go to those who wait."