By Keith Idec
If Deontay Wilder can’t land a shot to knock out Anthony Joshua, he might settle for a fight against an opponent Joshua has knocked out.
Wilder told BoxingScene.com that if Joshua won’t face him in their highly anticipated heavyweight title unification fight next, Dominic Breazeale is a possible opponent. Battling Breazeale would be “very personal” for Wilder due to an incident between him and Breazeale 13 months ago that led to Breazeale filing a lawsuit against Wilder.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) got into an altercation in the lobby of a Birmingham hotel after Wilder’s fifth-round stoppage of Gerald Washington in February 2017. Their beef began inside nearby Legacy Arena, where Wilder’s younger brother, Marsellos Wilder, and Breazeale exchanged words during and after Wilder’s win against Washington.
“Breazeale could be a possibility to fight next,” Wilder said. “We definitely have unfinished business. I wanna hurt him really, really, really, really, really, really bad. That is something that we’re gonna be putting on the table, along with a lot of other things as well. We’ll see what happens. We’ve still got a lot of choices to choose from.
“It might not be what people will wanna see, but this is boxing and certain things happen. We can only do what we can do. When people don’t wanna fight, then we have to move on. And when Joshua’s ready to fight, then we’ll make the fight happen.”
Wilder can make a voluntary defense of his WBC championship next because the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native made a mandatory defense by knocking out Bermane Stiverne in the first round of their rematch November 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 6-feet-7, 255-pound Breazeale, of Eastvale, California, is ranked No. 2 by the WBC and has lost only to Joshua, who stopped Breazeale in the seventh round of their June 2016 bout in London.
England’s Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) is the WBC’s No. 1 heavyweight contender. The Mexico City-based sanctioning organization hasn’t declared Whyte the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title, though, which means Wilder isn’t obligated to fight Whyte at this point.
Beyond Breazeale, Wilder also mentioned Adam Kownacki as a possible opponent for his next fight. The Polish-born, Brooklyn-based Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) is ranked No. 9 by the WBC.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.