The Wilder-Breazeale Melee: Families Should Be Off Limits
By: Sean Crose
This sort of thing happens. What’s more, it’s happened since the early days of boxing. Back in the late 1800s, James J Corbett nearly threw down with Bob Fitzimmons on a stretch of road in the leadup to their heavyweight title matchup. Since then, boxing has provided the world with more out of the ring, inappropriate antics than most could imagine. Some of us may well remember Mike Tyson’s off the wall New York brawl with Mitch Green…or Larry Holmes’ WWE maneuver on Trevor Berbick. Again, such things are part of boxing.
The out of the ring melee that apparently went down Saturday night between the camps of heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and contender Dominic Breazeale, however, seems to have involved Breazeale’s children – and that’s not acceptable. “I want to address the fact,” Breazeale tweeted, “that Deontay Wilder and a mob of about 20 people unprovokedly attacked my Team and my family in the lobby last night.” According to Breazeale, he and his coach were struck in front of Breazeale’s wife and kids in the lobby of a hotel. TMZ has run some confusing footage of the chaos, but it’s hard to discern much of anything on screen.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no definitive proof of anyone actually doing anything criminal after Saturday’s fight card in Alabama (where both Breazeale and Wilder won in impressive fashion). All there essentially is at this point is TMZ and the words of some of those involved. That’s really not a lot to go on. Still, all camps should clear the air about this. Explanations need to be given and, yeah, apologies need to be made. Causing madness in hotel lobbies is simply inappropriate.
Again, this sort of thing happens. Boxing is a tough sport where some very tough people get very psyched up. Such incidents are perhaps probably only natural considering the frame of mind your average fighter must put himself in. Restraint, however, is needed – especially when innocent people can be hurt. And this is particularly true in the case of children. Some things can’t and shouldn’t be laughed off. And if Dominic Breazeale is right in his assertion of what happened on Saturday (and I’m not saying he is), people should be called out and held accountable for it.
In other words, this sort of thing should be saved for the ring.