By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder will pay particularly close attention to one fight on his undercard Saturday night.
The winner of the Dominic Breazeale-Eric Molina fight figures to be a future opponent for the WBC heavyweight champion if he beats Bermane Stiverne in the main event. Wilder already has been defeated Molina and battling Breazeale would provide Wilder with a chance to settle a “very personal” score.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) and Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) got into an altercation in the lobby of a Birmingham hotel following Wilder’s fifth-round, technical-knockout victory over Gerald Washington on February 25 at nearby Legacy Arena. The beef began at ringside, when Wilder’s younger brother, Marsellos Wilder, and Breazeale exchanged words during and after Wilder’s win.
Breazeale beat Poland’s Izu Ugonoh (17-1, 14 KOs) on the Wilder-Washington undercard and took a ringside seat to watch Wilder-Washington.
The Birmingham Police Department was called to break up the Wilder-Breazeale melee that eventually included dozens of people at The Westin Birmingham. Breazeale later filed a lawsuit against Wilder over an incident that took place in front of Breazeale’s wife and two young children.
“If a Dominic Breazeale fight comes along in the future, that would be a great thing,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com. “That’d be high up there with Stiverne. I definitely would try to hurt him so bad. Just mentioning that fight, it gets me flared up. Dominic better watch himself. He’s doing all this stuff, but he’s not made to be the champion. Nothing about Dominic Breazeale screams champion – the way he talks, the way he looks, nothing. Nothing about him says champion.
“He would be more of a prima donna type of person. He’s more of a female version of a champion than a male champion. He’s not an alpha male – that’s for sure. I couldn’t see him as champion at all, but fighting him, it would be the same result of Stiverne. What I’m gonna do to Stiverne, it’d be just as bad for Breazeale.”
Wilder will face Stiverne in a rematch Saturday night that was mandated by the WBC (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native originally was supposed to box Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC), but Ortiz tested positive for two banned substances and the WBC wouldn’t allow them to move forward with their fight.
The WBC instead ordered Wilder to make his mandatory defense against the Haitian-born, Las Vegas-based Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), who Wilder beat by unanimous decision to win the WBC belt in January 2015 in Las Vegas. Stiverne had accepted a six-figure fee to step aside and allow Wilder-Ortiz, and was scheduled to battle Breazeale on their undercard.
Once Stiverne was moved into the main event, Molina (26-4, 19 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, replaced him as Breazeale’s opponent in what’s now a WBC elimination match. Wilder’s not sure whether Breazeale, who’s ranked No. 6 by the WBC, or the 12th-ranked Molina will win.
“I have no idea,” Wilder said. “This is boxing. It all depends on how these guys have been training and what their mindset is. That’s why I can’t really say what a guy is capable of doing, because I haven’t been around him. If I’ve been around him, I could at least give you some kind of theory of what they’ll or what they’ll not do.
“I don’t know how hard they’ve been training, I don’t know that their mindset is or if they really want it or not. Come the night of the fight, we’ll see who wants it and who don’t, who wants to fight. Is it gonna be one guy fighting for the title again? Or will it be the other guy, looking to fight for the WBC title? So it all depends who wants it the most, in my opinion.”
Clearly, however, Wilder wants Breazeale to win.
“Oh, most definitely,” Wilder said. “I hope that Breazeale wins because I already beat Molina. Breazeale is a more personal issue for me. I want him to feel some type of pain that I wanna give to him. It’ll be a very uncomfortable pain. The pain would have to last at least two weeks.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.