By Keith Idec, photo by Ryan Hafey/PBC
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Dominic Breazeale barely raised his voice, yet clearly delivered a message to Izuagbe Ugonoh.
Many fans and media might be looking at their 10-round heavyweight fight as the first step in the powerful Polish prospect’s ascent to becoming a legitimate heavyweight contender. But Breazeale believes their fight Saturday night represents a chance to show he can resurrect his career following a knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in his last fight.
“That last loss was a learning experience for me,” Breazeale said after the 6-feet-7 former college quarterback weighed in at a career-high 263 pounds Friday afternoon. “That was my first loss in 17 years. Izu’s gonna pay. Somebody’s gotta pay for that loss and Izu’s the next guy in line.”
England’s Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) battered Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) on his way to recording a seventh-round technical knockout June 25 at O2 Arena in London. The 6-6, 250-pound Joshua dropped Breazeale twice before their one-sided fight was stopped.
The 6-3 Ugonoh, who weighed in at 230.6 pounds, hasn’t fought anyone nearly as good or strong as Joshua. Nevertheless, Ugonoh is more than a 2-1 favorite over Breazeale (17-0, 14 KOs), of Eastvale, California, a day before they’ll meet in one of three fights FOX will televise from Legacy Arena.
The Breazeale-Ugonoh fight will be one of three bouts broadcast by FOX on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
In the main event, Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), of nearby Tuscaloosa, is scheduled to defend his WBC heavyweight title against huge underdog Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), a former USC football player from Vallero, California.
In the other televised fight, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) is set to face Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, in a 12-round fight for the vacant IBF junior middleweight title.
Harrison is the IBF’s second-ranked contender for the 154-pound championship Houston’s Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) relinquished recently. Hurd is rated No. 3 by the IBF.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.