By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Deontay Wilder didn’t answer affirmatively when asked if his one-punch, first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale would prevent Anthony Joshua from fighting him.
Wilder offered a more generic response during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion did indicate, however, that seeing the 6-feet-7, 255-pound Breazeale sprawled out on the canvas won’t exactly help him land the fights he wants most – a long-awaited showdown with Joshua and a rematch with Tyson Fury.
“I put fear in any man,” Wilder said. “A lot of people say, ‘Fighters are not scared. You know, they can’t be scared.’ Well, you know, we’re human. We’re gonna have those tendencies of fear, until we get in the ring, and that’s how we overcome our fear. Everyone in this room is scared of something, you know? But there comes a time when we must face our fears. With me, no man wants to get humiliated on national TV, and their body drops like that.
“You know, you just never know what it’s gonna do after you get hit from a devastating punch. You can fall on your face. You can ball up. Your legs can bend, and you can fall out the ring. You know, many things different things, and no one wants that highlight on them because the way the Internet is set up right now, it’s undefeated. And it’s embarrassing to get in there.”
The 6-feet-7, 223-pound Wilder’s devastating right hand hit Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) on the left side of his head Saturday night and left him flat on his back. A discombobulated Breazeale tried to get up, but he failed to beat referee Harvey Dock’s count.
Their scheduled 12-round fight was halted just two minutes and 17 seconds into it.
Despite all the bad blood between Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Breazeale before their fight, Wilder didn’t belittle Breazeale’s performance. Instead, Wilder praised Breazeale and the other 39 fighters he has knocked out.
“I see all these other fighters as warriors,” Wilder said. “I would tell them don’t hold your head down because you did something what a lot of people in the world – we got, what, billions of people in the world? I don’t know the exact number, but that’s what differentiates them from a lot of people. Because a lot of people wouldn’t get in that ring, to just step in there, yet alone talk about taking a punch.
“So, I would tell all my opponents, all fighters, to hold your head up high, you know? If you fail today, tomorrow is a new day and you can train and, like I say, you can apply your service and be great. But I’m a big threat to anybody in the heavyweight division, and each and every time I display that. Not only with my words, but with my actions as well.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.