WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder scaled 223 ¼ pounds and mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale tipped the scales at 255 ¼ pounds for their long-awaited grudge match that airs tomorrow live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (photos by Amanda Westcott, Sean Nam).
“Tomorrow is judgment day,” Wilder told SHOWTIME Sports Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood during Friday’s weigh-in from the LIU Brooklyn Athletic Center. “The bad blood is not going to affect the fight at all, it will only intensify it. When we get into the ring we are both going to see red. That’s what makes great fights – the words that we speak and what we do in the ring. It’s what makes great fights. Don’t you all want great fights?”
Wilder came in 11 pounds heavier than he measured for his December showdown with Tyson Fury, when he weighed 212 pounds, just five pounds heavier than his career low for his professional debut.
“At this point in time in my career I want to show everything,” said Wilder, who will make the ninth defense of his title in a matchup of 6-foot-7 heavyweights with a combined 90 percent knockout ratio. “I want to look the part, and be the part, as I always do.”
America’s only heavyweight champion, Wilder seeks to join elite company alongside Hall of Famers Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and more as just the 10th fighter in history to make nine or more consecutive successful heavyweight title defenses. Looking to end Wilder’s four-year reign as the United States’ only heavyweight champion is fellow-American Breazeale, who has 18 knockouts in his 20 professional wins.
“I think the bad blood motivated me during camp,” said Breazeale. “Coming into the fight though I’m going to act like a professional and put a professional performance on and give the fans what they want to see and get that knockout win.
“I’m going to put some leather in his face as often as possible. I plan on landing some big right hands and following up with some great body shots and left hooks. But on fight night, it’s about whoever lands to big shots first.”
In the co-featured bout on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former world champion Kiko Martínez and unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heráldez faces former world champion Argenis Méndez in a 10-round attraction that opens the telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will be carried live on the American Forces Network (AFN) tomorrow in celebration of Armed Forces Day.
SHOWTIME Sports will also present live streaming undercard action and pre-fight analysis on social media platforms beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING – 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
WBC Heavyweight World Championship – 12 Rounds
Deontay Wilder – 223 ¼ pounds
Dominic Breazeale – 255 ¼ pounds
Referee: Harvey Dock; Judges: John McKaie (N.Y.), Waleska Roldan (N.Y.), Tom Schreck N.Y.)
WBC Featherweight World Championship – 12 Rounds
Gary Russell Jr. – 125 ¾ pounds
Kiko Martínez – 124 ½ pounds
Referee: Ricky Gonzalez; Judges: Eric Marlinski (N.Y.), Tony Paolillo (N.Y.), Robin Taylor (N.Y.)
Lightweight Attraction – 10 Rounds
Juan Heráldez – 140 ½ pounds
Argenis Méndez – 140 ¾ pounds
Referee: Johnny Callas; Judges: John Basile (N.Y.), Julie Lederman (N.Y.), Kevin Morgan (N.Y.)