By Keith Idec
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Dominic Breazeale got his shot at Deontay Wilder much sooner than he expected.
The huge heavyweight contender and the WBC heavyweight champion got into an altercation late Saturday night in a hotel lobby after they won their respective bouts by knockout at nearby Legacy Arena. The incident occurred after Breazeale and Wilder’s younger brother, Marsellos Wilder, got into separate altercations at Legacy Arena and in the lobby of The Westin Birmingham, across the street from the arena.
Once Deontay Wilder arrived at the hotel from the arena, he went after Breazeale because Breazeale again got into it with Wilder’s younger brother, a former football standout and an amateur boxer. Multiple eyewitnesses told BoxingScene.com that the confrontation mostly amounted to pushing and shoving among many people, and eventually spilled outside.
The Birmingham Police Department helped restore order at The Westin Birmingham and neither Wilder nor Breazeale is believed to have been arrested.
Less than an hour earlier, Wilder mentioned during a post-fight press conference at Legacy Arena that he had a problem to settle with Breazeale.
“I’m a very respectful person,” said Wilder, a native of nearby Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “And when you come to my home, you’re gonna respect me as well, too. He had an altercation with my little brother. You don’t mess with my little brother. If you have a problem, you come to me and we can handle it. We can deal with it accordingly. So with that, I’ve got a problem with him. And it ain’t no problem that I wanna see him [about] in the ring. So I’ll see him.”
Wilder wasted no time “seeing” Breazeale, but it might not make it any likelier that a Wilder-Breazeale bout will occur anytime soon. The 31-year-old Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), who knocked out Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the fifth round Saturday night, wants to face the winner of a May 6 bout between WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) and Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) in his next fight.
Breazeale, meanwhile, salvaged his career Saturday night on the Wilder-Washington undercard.
The 6-feet-7, 263-pound Breazeale (18-1, 15 KOs) overcame a fourth-round knockdown to drop powerful Polish prospect Izu Ugonoh (17-1, 14 KOs) twice in the fifth round and won by knockout. The dramatic comeback enabled Breazeale, of Eastvale, California, to avoid knockout defeats in back-to-back bouts.
Unbeaten IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) stopped Breazeale in the seventh round of his previous fight, June 25 in London.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.