SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 17, 2019 – The 13,181 fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn watching the heavyweight championship bout between heavyweights Deontay Wilder of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Dominic Breazeale of Eastvale in Riverside County, California (20-2, 18 KOs) got exactly what they came for.
Never mind that they saw just over two minutes worth’ of action for their trouble. It probably took them longer to clear security than the 2:17 it took for Wilder to deliver a perfect straight right hand to the chin of Breazeale, ending their grudge match and serving up a certain finalist for the 2019 Knockout of the Year.
With all the trash talk and behind them, the outcome was inevitable. Breazeale has a good chin, and survived the first straight right hand that caught him in the first minute of the fight. Wilder moved in, pushing Breazeale to the ropes, delivering a flurry. Breazeale fended off Wilder by landing a lucky looping right hand of his own.
The two men reset and clinched. Referee Harvey Dock separated the two, and it was as Wilder stepped back and set that he launched the right hand bazooka. Brezeale went down hard and bounced off the canvas. The fight was over.
“I seen Breazeale slowed up a little bit. I hit him with a right hand the first time, his body language changed a little bit. I knew he was slowing down and he was opening up,” said Wilder of the knockout.
“Everything just came out in me tonight,” said Wilder. “I know there was a big buildup, a lot of chaos, a lot of hate between each other. It came out tonight. That’s what makes boxing great.”
Wilder spoke to Breazeale briefly after the fight ended. He said he told Breazeale he loved him. “Of course I want to see him go home to his family. I know we say things we mean … You can hug him and kiss him and say thank you so much. I wish the world was like that. We can handle our things, hug and kiss, and live to see another day.”
Breazeale declined to be interviewed, and left the ring with trainer Virgil Hunter. Showtime Boxing ringside reporter Jim Gray disparaged Breazeale as an opponent during his interview with Wilder, which may have led to the Californian’s early departure.
WIlder: ‘No doors are closed’
Gray asked Wilder when he was going to fight the top men in the division, including Anthony Joshua of Great Britain, and countryman Tyson Fury who fought Wilder to a draw in December. Fury is scheduled to fight undefeated but little known German challenger Tom Schwartz in Las Vegas in June.
“I understand what Fury did, I understand,” said Wilder. “When you get dropped on the canvas like that and don’t know how you got up, you got to get yourself together.”
Wilder promised all these fights are in discussion. “No doors are closed. All parties involved are talking. Of facing Joshua, Wilder said, “It’s going to take my team and his team, me and him as well, to get this fight down for the fans. This fight will happen, I promise you that. I want you guys to have patience and give us a little time to make it happen so we all benefit from it.
“We want to get the best money possible for risking out lives. The head is not meant to be hit – we’ll let you know when it happens. But you know what the saying is … good things come to those who wait.”
Former Wilder opponent Luis Ortiz joined Wilder in the ring, and said “I’m here for the rematch. He is the only person who can say if it’s the next fight,” said the Cuban. Wilder came closer than any other opponent to beating Wilder. It’s the only fight against an opponent who isn’t British anyone really wants to see.
Don’t count on a Fury rematch or Joshua fight in 2019. It’s disappointing for fans, especially when they see top champions in other weight divisions making good matchups, such as the participants earlier Saturday in the World Boxing Super Series.
Before it happens, Wilder needs to develop a Plan B. But once again on Saturday, to date he has always been able to make Plan A work: boxing’s best straight right hand. Maybe it really is enough.
Undercard results: Gary Russell Jr. wins his annual appearance
On the undercard, WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. of Maryland (30-1, 17 KOs) made his first appearance of 2019, defeating Kiko Martinez of Spain (39-9-2, 28 KOs) by fifth round TKO. Martinez suffered a cut over the left eye and the ringside physician called the fight to a halt at 2:52 of the round. Fans breathed a sigh of relief as the lackluster, pointless bout came to an end. “We knew that intellect and athleticism would win this fight,” said Russell Jr.
At the fight’s conclusion, Russell Jr. donned a t-shift calling out WBA titleholder and division kingpin Leo Santa Cruz on the back. “See the back of my shirt?” said Russell Jr. “Man, we wanted Leo Santa Cruz, we want to make that fight happen. We don’t have to mention any names. I would love for that fight to happen this year.” Russell Jr. said he would consider moving up in weight and taking on the WBC super featherweight champion, which is Miguel Berchelt.
It’s time for Russell Jr. to test his skills and show the fans what he can do. Stepping into the ring at least one more time in 2019 would be a good start.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media at@PRProSanDiego.
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