By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Dominic Breazeale’s math was slightly off Thursday.
The mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title still got his point across. Breazeale basically stated during a press conference at Barclays Center that Wilder has faced only two credible opponents in roughly 40 professional fights.
Presumably, Breazeale referred to Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz.
The hard-hitting Wilder boxed to a controversial split draw with Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) on December 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. About nine months earlier, Wilder survived serious seventh-round trouble to knock out Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) in the 10th round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will return to Barclays Center to battle Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), of Eastvale, California, on Saturday night. Their scheduled 12-round fight will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“The victory for me on Saturday is everything,” Breazeale said. “I don’t think Wilder understands what he’s getting himself into. There’s not enough guys he could pay to be in his corner to tell him he’s gonna beat me on Saturday night. He knows he’s in for a fight. He stated it himself. He’s trained harder than he’s ever trained in his life.
“If you’re the champ, you’ve gotta be confident in what you do. You’ve got 40 bogus-ass fights. You might’ve fought two guys in your whole career that give you any type of credibility. Come Saturday night, you’re gonna be in the toughest fight of your life. … I can’t wait for them to raise my hand and them say, ‘And the new …’ ”
Wilder is listed as an 8-1 favorite against Breazeale, who has lost only to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs). Joshua dropped Breazeale twice and stopped him in the seventh round of their June 2016 bout at O2 Arena in London.
The heavy-handed Wilder expects to knock out Breazeale faster than Joshua beat him.
“He asked for this and he shall receive,” Wilder said Thursday. “Just like The Bible says, if you ask, you shall receive. And come May 18th, on Showtime, at the Barclays Center, he’s gonna get everything that he receive.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.