By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – The debate began raging far and wide Saturday night, as soon as referee Harvey Dock counted out Dominic Breazeale.
Deontay Wilder’s supporters pointed to his quick, spectacular knockout of Breazeale as evidence of the WBC heavyweight champion’s superiority over Anthony Joshua.
The British superstar’s backers argued that Wilder merely dismantled an opponent Joshua had already ruined when he stopped Breazeale in the seventh round of their June 2016 bout.
When Wilder was asked to compare performances following his first-round knockout Saturday night, he refrained from criticizing Joshua. Instead, Wilder reminded reporters and fans that he and Joshua eventually will settle this well-documented dispute in the ring.
“You know, we can compare all we want,” Wilder said during the post-fight press conference. “But, you know, at the end of the day, when both of us get in the ring, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. I can’t say that I’m gonna knock him out. I can’t say he’s gonna knock me out. We just have to see when that time comes, and see what happens.”
Wilder landed a right hand to the side of Breazeale’s head that knocked his mandatory challenger flat on his back. Breazeale attempted to get up, but the 6-feet-7, 255-pound contender couldn’t reach his feet before Dock’s count reached 10.
The 33-year-old Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) needed less than three minutes to beat Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) in their scheduled 12-rounder at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Joshua knocked down Breazeale twice during the seventh round, when he won by technical knockout at O2 Arena in London.
Wilder relied on an old boxing axiom when trying to explain why he was able to beat Breazeale much faster than Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).
“I mean, it’s hard,” Wilder said. “You know, when you’re in boxing we always say styles make fights. And it’s so true. You know, certain styles may not complement other styles. And Breazeale’s style complements mines. Any guy that gets in the ring and can’t move their head or are not flexible, you know, it’s perfect for me. You know, because I’m gonna set you up and I’m faster than what people think. You know, people think, ‘Oh, he just got a right hand, so you stay away from that.’ You know, but when I settle myself down, and really use my intelligence in the ring, magic happens. And tonight, I displayed that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.