Some boxing fans may have been disappointed that they did not get the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury after the draw they had in the Staples Center last December, but they did see Wilder get back into the ring on Saturday night. It wasn’t for long, though as it took one round for Wilder to end the fight.
The defending WBC champion defeated his mandatory challenger in Dominic Breazeale at the 2:17 mark in the first round as he landed a right hand to put Breazeale down to the canvas, and Breazeale could not beat the ten count from referee Harvey Dock. Wilder secures the 40th knockout victory of his career and it was his ninth win as WBC champion.
Both Wilder and Breazeale felt that it was going to be a slugfest early, and it was just that after Wilder landed a couple of right hands to back Breazeale to the ropes before Breazeale responded with right hands of his own to get Wilder off of him. A couple of clinches took place before they were separated, and then the right hand landed to end the night for Breazeale. It becomes the 20th first round knockout victory for Wilder.
The champion felt that his opponent respected his power early in the round. “When I hit him with the right hand the first time, his body language changed,” Wilder said.
Breazeale was fighting for a world title for the second time in his career and again he ended the fight with a loss. In 2016, he challenged Anthony Joshua for the IBF title and was stopped. In this fight, he wanted to land his right hand on Wilder but was beat to the punch.
“This was a situation where he landed the big right hand before I did,” Breazeale said. “I thought I was going to come on in the later rounds. I’ll be back and go for the heavyweight title again.”
Wilder was slated for a rematch with Tyson Fury but Fury’s decision to sign with Top Rank nixed that from happening. However, Wilder believes that later on he will be in the ring with Fury once again.
“I understand what Tyson Fury did. When you get dropped on the canvas like that, I understand you have to get yourself back together,” Wilder said. “But the rematch will happen, like all these other fights will happen. The great thing is all these fights are in discussion. The big fights will happen, I promise you that.”
While that fight may be in the works, another fighter stepped in the ring to challenge Wilder. Luis Ortiz, who Wilder defeated in March 2018, came up to challenge Wilder to a rematch. It remains to be seen if that fight will happen, but for the meantime boxing fans will wait to see what is next for the WBC champion.
Cover photo by the Associated Press