As BoxingScene.com previously reported, heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale claims he, his team and his family were attacked by WBC world champion Deontay Wilder and his entourage in a hotel lobby following their knockout victories late Saturday night.
The incident occurred in the lobby of The Westin Birmingham, across the street from Legacy Arena.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), the WBC heavyweight champion, had said less than an hour earlier during a post-fight press conference he would “see” Breazeale outside the ring because Breazeale got into an altercation with Marsellos Wilder, Deontay’s younger brother, as they sat ringside at Legacy Arena for Wilder’s fifth-round knockout of Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs).
The Birmingham Police Department were called to restore order at The Westin Birmingham.
Here is the message Breazeale posted on his Instagram and Twitter accounts Sunday morning:
"First off, I want to take the time to thank God that both me and my opponent came out of the fight unharmed and safe last night. Secondly, I want to address the fact that Deontay Wilder and a mob of about 20 people unprovokedly attacked my Team and my family in the lobby last night. My coach and I were blindsided by sucker punches and my team was assaulted as well in front of my wife and kids. This cowardly act has no place in boxing and believe me will not go unpunished," Breazeale stated.
Earlier Saturday night, Breazeale battled back from a fourth-round knockdown to knock out powerful Polish prospect Izu Ugonoh in the fifth round of their scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight. Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) knocked down Ugonoh (17-1, 14 KOs) once in the third round and twice in the fifth before their fight was stopped.
Wilder has now issued a response and given his version of what happened on social media.
"First and foremost, it is my honor to be the WBC heavyweight champion of the world and it was a wonderful experience defending my title in my home state of Alabama last night. Holding this title is a privilege and one that I cherish. I know that this privilege comes with a great responsibility, not just inside the ring but also how I conduct myself outside the ring," Wilder stated.
"I am disappointed that attention has been diverted away from my title defense and my conduct has come into question, it is important that I set the record straight with regards to the incident that took place in the hotel last night with Breazeale. We all know there are two sides to every story and the story the world has been told thus far is wrong. Breazeale confronted my brother in the arena and told him he would kill my entire family. There were many witnesses to this. My brother was the one provoked. I was very upset when I heard about that incident. This is my only brother and I am his keeper."
"I did want to confront Breazeale, man to man and face to face, but just because we are fighters doesn’t mean we always have to act with violence and my only intention was to speak with him. I’m sure many of you have seen me on many occasions and those that know me knows I don’t travel with a big entourage. In fact, I don’t believe in it. I was accused of having a mob of 20 people and that’s just ridiculous."
"I approached Breazeale in the lobby alone as my team stood back and immediately a member of his team grabbed me. My brother was punched, people close to Breazeale yelled cuss words at me, and I lost my cool. My only concern was the safety of my family and my only brother. First, I did not throw a punch. Second, I did not make a comment about Breazeale’s children."
"Anything else you have heard is a lie because no matter how heated or protective I may be, I’m not the kind of man to go after someone’s kids. I understand how this incident looks given that I am heavyweight champion, but I want to ensure people I did not act in the manner Breazeale has claimed and the videos are clear about that. The statements from his team were untrue and a defamation of my character. I will go to great lengths to prove that.”