By Keith Idec
If Dominic Breazeale beats Deontay Wilder on Saturday night, it’ll be by far the biggest win of the 33-year-old contender’s career.
In addition to winning the WBC heavyweight title, Breazeale believes upsetting Wilder would lead him to a chance to avenge the most devastating defeat he has suffered since he picked up boxing at the late age of 22. Otherwise, Breazeale realizes he’ll never get an opportunity to avenge his technical-knockout defeat to Anthony Joshua.
“It’s not if, it’s when I beat Wilder,” Breazeale told Sky Sports for a story posted to its website Wednesday night. “When I beat Wilder, I definitely will love to unify the titles against AJ.”
Joshua dominated Breazeale, who was way behind on the scorecards when the big British superstar dropped him twice in the seventh round of their June 2016 fight at O2 Arena in London. Their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped in that very same seventh round.
That subpar performance against Joshua is among the reasons Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) is an 8-1 favorite to beat Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) in their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I’ve understood for the last 2½ years, almost three years since I fought AJ in the summer of 2016 that [beating Wilder] was the only way to get back to him,” said Breazeale, a 2012 American Olympian from Eastvale, California. “It was only way to get back to a rematch with AJ.
“AJ has no reason to come down to me and fight me. If I’ve got a belt that he wants, he’s definitely gonna fight me for it. So, a unification and undisputed championship belt is definitely on the horizon.”
The 29-year-old Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is set to defend his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. (32-1, 21 KOs) on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. DAZN will stream Joshua-Ruiz, which will mark Joshua’s debut in the United States.
The Wilder-Breazeale bout will headline a Showtime tripleheader set to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Immediately before Wilder battles Breazeale, WBC featherweight champ Gary Russell Jr. (29-1, 17 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make an optional title defense versus Spain’s Kiko Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs).
In the opening bout, junior welterweight prospect Juan Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, will square off against Argenis Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Yonkers, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.