PBC Results: Deontay Wilder Quickly and Violently Disposes of Breazeale
By: William Holmes
Al Haymons’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was broadcast live tonight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and was televised live on the Showtime networks.
The main event of the night was a heavyweight showdown between current heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The opening bout of the night was between Juan Heraldez (16-0) and Argenis Mendez (25-5-2) in the super lightweight division.
Mendez had many fights in the lightweight division and Heraldez spent most of his career fighting at 140 or 147lbs.
Heraldez was a highly touted prospect, but Mendez was a cagey veteran who presented a good challenge for Heraldez and was able to keep the fight at a slower pace early on.
Heraldez had a strong fifth round and was able to crack Mendez with some heavy shots in the middle of the round, but Mendez had his moments and landed a straight right hand that had blood coming from the nose of Heraldez.
Mendez was the one who pressed forward in the seventh round, but Heraldez showed good movement while circling away and appeared to be the slightly more accurate puncher.
Heraldez did have Mendez briefly trapped by the corner in the eighth, but appeared hesitant to really let loose and go for the knockdown.
Mendez had his moments in the ninth round, but Heraldez looked like he did enough to slightly win the later rounds.
A lot of rounds could have been sored for either fighter, but the judges scored it 97-93 for Mendez, and 95-95 on the other two scorecards.
The fight was ruled a majority draw.
The next bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. a (29-1) and Kiko Martinez (39-8-2) for the WBC Featherweight Title.
Russell was able to move in and out with ease in the opening two rounds and appeared to be able to pop shot Martinez at will. Russell’s combinations caused a mouse to form under the left eye of Martinez in the second.
Martinez was able to land some body shots in the third round, but Russell’s superior hand speed won him a majority of their exchanges. Russell turned up the power in the fourth round and forced a cut over Martinez’s eye to begin to bleed badly.
Russell’s jab was focused on the cut of Martinez’s eye in the fifth round and made it open up to a dangerous sized gash. The referee asked the ring side doctor to take a look at it, and he advised the referee to stop the fight.
Gary Russell Jr. wins by TKO at 2:52 of the fifth round.
The main event of the evening was between Deontay Wilder (40-0-1) and Dominic Breazeale (20-1) for the WBC Heavyweight Title.
Breazeale and Wilder were listed at identical heights but Wilder looked like he had a few inches on Breazeale at the referee introduction. Wilder looked extremely confident and gave Breazeale a death stare, who looked a little timid.
Wilder had a sharp jab early on and was able to connect with a two punch combination in the opening minute. A right hand form Wilder knocked Breazeale back a few steps who appeared to be stunned, but Breazeale landed two hard overhand rights that briefly stopped Wilder’s momentum.
Both fighters were in a clinch and Breazeale landed a few short punches before the referee separated them. Wilder than landed a booming right hand that sent Breazeale crashing to the mat.
Breazeale began to attempt to get up around the count of eight, but he was unable to get to his feet before ten and he was still badly hurt.
Deontay Wilder wins with a stunning knockout at of the 2:17 first round.
Dominic Breazeale Keys to Victory
By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) will be looking too pick up the biggest win of his career when he takes on WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) at the Barclay Center this Saturday night.
Wilder, will be looking to defend his title for the ninth straight time. Breazeale faces a monumental task, but one that isn’t impossible. For as dominant as Wilder has been, he has shown a few weakness over the years. The odds are not in his favor but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a chance. To the contrary he has the skillset in order to get the job done. So how exactly will Breazeale get the job done? Keep reading to find out.
Use The Jab
Although Breazeale is coming into this contest with a slight two inch reach disadvantage, he still needs to employ the jab. Outside of his last contest against Tyson Fury, Wilder has always had a height advantage coming into his fights. Even with his freakish height and reach he still has issues using a steady jab. He also has a problem of getting repeatedly tagged with it as well. Throughout the career of Breazeale he has shown that he has one of the best jabs in the entire division. If Breazeale can find a home for his jab throughout the contest, it could mean bad news for Wilder.
Box Don’t Brawl
Breazeale has won his last three contests via stoppage. Even more impressive, he has stopped 18 of his 21 opponents in his career. Conventional thinking would lead you to believe that Breazeale should go for he knockout in this contest. Although he has been successful before, it would lead to an early night for the title contender. Wilder has been outboxed on numerous occasions. Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz and Artur Szpilka to name a few have given the WBC champion issues. Breazeale doesn’t exactly have the skill that those men have but he can certainly hold his own. Breazeale shouldn’t be so quick to fight the sort of fight that his opponent wants him too. Instead he should employ a new tactic and box from the outside. It could very well lead him to victory.
Attack The Body
Too many times in boxing do we see fighters spend the duration of the contest head hunting. This is particularly true in the Heavyweight division. Wilder has shown that he can take a good shot on the chin. Going downstairs to the body could lead to a different result. For as good as Wilder is, he isn’t a big Heavyweight, attacking his midsection could slow him down. Head shots are always what the fans want to see but going down to the body, seems like the best strategy to take.
Wilder’s Pre-Fight Talk Rattles Some Observers
By: Sean Crose
Deontay Wilder has raised eyebrows with recent comments he’s made regarding his Saturday bout with Dominic Breazeale. In the leadup to the scrap for the WBC heavyweight crown, defending champion Wilder has expressed murderous intent. Literally. “This is the only sport,” Wilder told reporters, “where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It’s legal. Why not use my right to do so?” Wilder also stated that: “I’m still trying to get a body on my record.” Whether Wilder was serious or simply trash talking before a televised bout (the fight will be aired live on Showtime from the Barclay’s Center) is unclear, though the Alabama native has been known from his hyperbole.
Hyperbolic or not, Wilder’s words have struck a chord with certain fans and journalists. While some claim Wilder doesn’t seriously wish to kill his opponent this weekend, others find the words Wilder uses dangerous, while still others find them to be inappropriate, regardless of whether Wilder is serious or not in his comments. Perhaps it all has to do with a need Wilder has to be recognized as a legitimate heavyweight champion – something he has struggled to do. “People won’t appreciate my career until I retire or I die,” Sports Illustrated quotes the man as saying. “I want to smell my roses now.”
No matter the intent behind his words, there is little doubt that the 41-0-1 Wilder and the 20-1 Breazeale have some serious bad blood between them. A hotel skirmish reportedly involving Breazeale, team Wilder and Breazeale’s family went down several years ago, presenting another layer of ugliness to a sport which unfortunately seems to be forever adding on new coats. Breazeale has presented the incident as a horrible affront to he and his family. Wilder has responded that Breazeale is twisting the narrative to make he and his team appear in a terrible light. Smack talk can help build a fight, but the genuine hostility shared between Wilder and Breazeale is quite real.
One interesting side note: had Wilder indented to merely rattle Breazeale with his recent comments, the tactic doesn’t seem to have worked. “I’m not going to react to his words,” the LA Times quotes the easy going Breazeale as saying. “It’s very uncivilized, not in my character and not right.” Breazeale, whose lone loss was to British heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, is expected to lose on Saturday. Yet few would deny the Californian has the power to turn out the lights at any given moment. All but two of the man’s victories have come by knockout.
Promotional Dream: The Bronze Bomber vs. Dominic Breazeale
By: Jesse Donathan
“In a one-on-one setting, Hamed’s arrogance is oddly charming, like a small boy wearing his father’s clothes,” writes Timothy W. Smith on the then WBO featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed in his December 17, 1997 NYTimes article titled, “BOXING; He’s a Champion of Self-Promotion.” In the cut throat industry of pugilism, it’s going to take a little more than fast hands and a pretty face to make it to the top. A degree of self-promotion is necessary in order to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. Hamed was arrogant, brash and believable. All ingredients necessary to become a master self-promotor. And if the fact this article exists is any indication, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), like Hamed before him, is a champion of self-promotion too.
If you’re in tune with the world of combat sports, it’s been hard to miss Wilder in the news lately. And as they say in the world of promotion, even bad publicity is good publicity. According to foxnews.com reporter Ryan Gaydos in his May 16, 2019 article titled, ”Deontay Wilder promotes upcoming bout by talking about opponent’s death in ring: ‘If he dies, he dies’,” the WBC heavyweight champion of the world recently stated, “This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It’s legal. So why not use my right to do so?”
Gaydos would later go on to write that, “In a separate interview with USA Today, Wilder continued to up the ante with his talk. “If he dies, he dies,” Wilder said of Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs). “This is boxing. This is not a gentleman’s sport. This is a gladiator’s sport. And with bad blood, we know I possess the power.”
“If he dies, he dies,” if you think you’ve heard that line somewhere else before it’s because you have. They’re the immortal words of Ivan Drago, the Russian menace from Rocky IV. And they’re as chilling now as they were then. But stepping away from the current media frenzy, for those of us paying attention, these sentiments from Deontay Wilder are nothing new.
In an August 18, 2018 “SecondsOut” YouTube video titled, “Deontay Wilder on KILLING & CRIPPLING Fighters!,” Radio Rahim interviewed “The Bronze Bomber” about his previous statements along the very same lines to this latest controversy. And yet again, on November 2, 2017 Radio Rahim interviewed the WBC champion in his YouTube video titled, “DEONTAY WILDER: I Want a [DEAD] BODY on My Record! Gonna KILL Bermane Stiverne in Ring,” where Wilder echoed similar sentiments against then opponent Stiverne in what looks to be a fairly consistent promotional story line and angle from the WBC champion. Interestingly enough, Bermane Stiverne survived his encounter with Wilder, and god willing, so will Dominic Breazeale too.
But that doesn’t mean the bad blood between the two fighters isn’t very real. According to a February 27, 2017 badlefthook.com article titled, “Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale involved in hotel fight,” the two heavyweight fighters have a violent history with one another. Author Scott Crist would go on to write that Wilder and Breazeale, “were involved in a large scale hotel lobby fight, according to TMZ, who have cell phone video of the scrap, not that there’s really a lot to see.”
As reported by badlefthook.com, Breazeale discussed the incident on social media, stating, “I want to address the fact that Deontay Wilder and a mob of about 20 people unprovokedly attacked my team and my family in the lobby last night. My coach and I were blindsided by sucker punches and my team was assaulted as well all in front of my wife and kids.” Breazeale would go on to write, “This cowardly attack has no place in boxing and believe me will not go unpunished.”
Searching for more information, according to a May 15, 2019 cbssports.com article titled, “Deontay Wilder on Dominic Breazeale: ‘His life is on the line for this fight and I do mean his life’,” author Brian Campbell reported that, “The hotel skirmish between the heavyweights, which occurred after Wilder’s 2017 win over Gerald Washington in Birmingham, began, according to Breazeale, when he was verbally accosted in the crowd by Wilder’s brother for being so vocal in giving instructions to his friend Washington.”
To be fair, not that there is an excuse for unsanctioned violence outside the ring or cage, but details about the exact vocal instructions Breazeale was alleged to have been making were not given. Though it would be interesting to get a copy of the transcript because perhaps Dominic was advising Washington to do more than just circle and work the jab against Wilder? Which is complete speculation on my part, though likely a pretty good guess. “Vocal in giving instructions,” could literally mean anything and leaves one to the devices of their own imagination to fill in the blanks. Whatever those instructions were, evidently, they carried enough weight to get Wilders undivided attention.
According to Campbell, “After the fight, word got back to Wilder about the words exchanged and he approached Breazeale, who had his wife and kids in tow, and berated him with harsh words demanding an apology.” Cbssports.com would go on to write that, “Breazeale then accused Wilder’s brother of punching him in the back of the head from behind to trigger a melee that was broken up.”
Knowing that there are always two sides to a story, according to an “MWRECKTV” YouTube video interview with Wilder titled, “Deontay Wilder On Breazeale Beef He Lied & Said I Had 20 G00NS W/ Me When I Ran Down On Him,” the WBC champion denied he had a large entourage with him during the hotel confrontation and stated that Dominic Breazeale even tried to sue him as a result of the incident. “He went on the pursuit of trying to sue me and get money from me. To let you know that he is a broke mother (expletive) and he needs money.”
Wilder would go on to state, “But he is going to get the opportunity this time.” Apologizing for his language, and explaining he is a realist that speaks from the heart, “I may tell you like I feel, but you will know when my work is in the ring; you will know how I was feeling.” Which is just another way of saying that not only does Wilder talk the talk, but he plans to walk the walk too.
Threatening to kill opponents in the ring is nothing new in boxing, though there is a dark history associated with such talk that looms over the sport like a dark cloud. The legendary welterweight champion Emile Griffith notoriously threatened to kill Benny “Kid” Paret in the lead up to their third and final fight on March 24th, 1962 in Madison Square Garden after Paret reportedly uttered a homophobic slur to Griffith. Paret would slip into a coma as a result of the cumulative damage received from Griffith in the fight and unfortunately later passed away ten days later in an area hospital as a result.
Wilder and Breazeale fight Saturday night, May 18, 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to the bleacherreport.com, the odds are reported to be -850 for Wilder and +575 for Breazeale. The fight will be aired on ShowTime for those of us not fortunate enough to be ringside, and considering the promotional dream in the leadup to the fight it is sure to be one that doesn’t disappoint when the final bell rings. Will Breazeale survive the hammers of Thor Wilder is sure to bring or will Breazeale punish the WBC champ as he has promised to do? Tune in to find out.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Wilder vs. Breazeale, Russell vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale for the WBC Heavyweight Title.
This bout will be put on by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and will be televised live on Showtime.
Garry Russell Jr. will also be appearing on the card and will take on Kiko Martinez for Russell’s WBC Featherweight Title.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The following is a preview of both title bouts.
Gary Russell Jr.(29-1) vs. Kiko Martinez (39-8-2); WBC Featherweight Title
Whenever the name of Gary Russell Jr. comes up a debate follows if he’s a legitimate pound for pound fighter or not.
He’s a boxer who’s only blemish on his record came at the hands Vasily Lomachenko, a fighter most will agree is a pound for pound great. However, he’s also a boxer that has only fought once a year since 2015 and frustrates fans for his inactivity.
Russell will be facing Kiko Martinez on Saturday, a 33 year old boxer with eight losses on his resume and five of those losses coming since 2013. Martinez has been very active, as he fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017. Martinez will also have about a two inch reach advantage and a half inch height advantage over Russell.
However, Russell has a clear edge in his resume of defeated opponents and amateur background. He won several national tournaments as an amateur in the United States and represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Martinez does not have the amateur pedigree of Russell.
Russell has defeated the likes of Joseph Diaz, Oscar Escandon, Patrick Hyland, Jhonny Gonzalez, and Christopher Martin. Martinez has defeated the likes of Marc Vidal, Hozumi Hasegawa, Jeffrey Mathebula, and Jhonatan Romero. He has losses to the likes of Carl Frampton (twice), Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz, and Josh Warrington.
Even though Martinez has been more active than Russell, he doesn’t’ have the talent of Russell and has several losses and draws in recent years, including two losses by stoppage. This shouldn’t be a fight that Russell will have issues in.
Deontay Wilder (40-0-1) vs. Dominic Breazeale (20-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
This won’t be Dominic Breazeale’s first chance at a heavyweight title. When he last challenged for the heavyweight title he was stopped in the seventh round by Anthony Joshua.
On paper, it appears unlikely this fight will be much different.
Breazeale has power, as he has stopped eighteen of his opponents, but he also can be stopped, as he only made it to the seventh round when he faced Anthony Joshua. He’ll need a strong chin when he faces Wilder, who has stopped thirty nine of the forty opponents he has faced, and even knocked down Tyson Fury in their disputed draw.
Both boxers stand at 6’7” and Wilder will have a slight one and a half inch reach advantage. Wilder fought twice in 2018 and in 2017 while Breazeale only fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017.
Both boxers represented the United States in the Olympics. Wilder competed in the 2008 Olympics while Breazeale competed in the 2012 Olympics. Wilder however was able to medal while Breazeale did not.
Wilder has beaten the likes of Luis Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich.
Breazeale has beaten the likes of Carlos Negron, Eric Molina, Izuagbe Ugonoh, Amir Mansour, Fred Kassi, Yasmany Consuegra, and Victor Bisbal.
Wilder is looking for a big money fight but has remained steadfastly loyal to Al Haymon and Showtime. Dominic Breazeale stands in his way of that big money fight, but it’s an obstacle that Wilder should be able to overcome.
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Recap
By: Hans Themistode
Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) kicked off his media workout in the evening hours of Gleason’s Gym, May 14th. More than 75 media members gathered around the ring as the current WBC Heavyweight champion went through an extensive workout.
Wilder, is of course defending his crown against number one contender Dominic Breazeale. (20-1, 18 KOs). The contest is slated to take place at the Barclay Center, this Saturday night on March 18th. Wilder, will be looking to defend his title for the ninth time.
For Wilder, motivation could be in question. After coming off a fight of the year candidate against Tyson Fury in his last matchup many were expecting a rematch to take place after the first contest ended in a draw. Unfortunately for Wilder and boxing fans, the business of boxing put an end to that notion.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Instead of a highly anticipated rematch we now get a showdown between the champion and Dominic Breazeale. Although Wilder wanted to settle the score with Fury, he fully embraces the challenge of Breazeale as these two have a long history as well.
“Dominic has been asking for this, just remember. Ask and you shall receive.” Said Wilder during his media workout.
Wilder, who’s title reign began in 2015, has fought stellar opposition up until this point. As for where he would rank Breazeale in terms of who he has fought, Wilder gave his May 18th, foe no respect.
“He’s at the bottom. He don’t even belong in the same ring as me.”
Since suffering his lone defeat at the hands of Anthony Joshua back in 2016, Breazeale has reeled off three wins in a row all via stoppage. Still that doesn’t impress Wilder.
“Look at who he’s fought. He’s supposed to do that. If you put me in the ring with the type of opponents that he’s fought then I would do the same thing. The only difference is that it would be in much more impressive fashion.”
After getting a full sweat going during his workout which included, hitting the mitts and shadow boxing, Wilder seemed more than ready for his big showdown come Saturday night.
“I just don’t like the guy. The time for talking has come to an end. Now it’s time to handle business, and that is exactly what I am going to do come Saturday night.
The WBC champion on any given night will be hard to defeat but, a fully motivated one will be increasingly even more difficult to overcome. Saturday night just can’t get here fast enough.
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Quotes and Photos
Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder kicked off fight week Tuesday night with a media workout at world famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn before he defends his title this Saturday night against mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Wilder will look to defend his title for the ninth time in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It will be Wilder’s fourth time defending his belt at Barclays Center, having scored knockouts in his three previous fights in Brooklyn.
Tickets for this BombZquad event can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Here is what Wilder had to say Tuesday in Brooklyn:
“Dominic Breazeale is going to get knocked out in dramatic fashion on Saturday. I can’t wait. He’s like a fly in my ear. I’m going to get him out of there in a fashion no one has ever seen.
“I love coming to Brooklyn. The people here have adopted me. I’ve had some of my most dramatic knockouts here at Barclays Center. I’m looking forward to adding another one to my resume Saturday night.
“Dominic Breazeale asked for this. I didn’t seek him out. He came for me. This isn’t a gentleman’s sport. We have bad blood and it’ll be in the ring Saturday night.
“I learned from the Tyson Fury fight to stay patient. It was my moment and my time. I wanted to put on a great show and deliver the knockout. I rushed but Fury had to be perfect for 12 rounds, I just had to be perfect for two seconds.
“I’m a person who’s passionate about what I say and passionate about what I do. I’m the realest champion in the business. I show love everywhere I go. Love is the key to the world.”
Wilder vs. Breazeale Media Call Transcript
Thanks everybody for joining us. We have an exciting fight to talk about, certainly one of the biggest fights of the year.
Wilder vs. Breazeale is Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME. It’s the heavyweight championship of the world. It is at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING and it’s presented by Premier Boxing Championships. Tickets for the BombZquad event are available through Ticketmaster, barclayscenter.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Now I’m going to introduce Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks to make introductory comments. Stephen.
Thanks very much, Kelly. We are thrilled to be presenting Wilder vs. Breazeale on SHOWTIME a week from Saturday. Before we get there we are committed to this fight as if it were a pay-per-view because we believe that that’s where Deontay is in his career and this is the level of promotion that a fight of this caliber deserves.
So we will be premiering ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE on Friday, May 10th at 10 p.m. Following that will be a three-fight ShoBox telecast featuring Ruben Villa in the main event.
And those of you who know me know that I’m also a hip-hop music fan so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Wu-Tang documentary, “Of Mics and Men,” that’s premiering tomorrow. So it’s a big lineup tomorrow night on SHOWTIME – 9 p.m. is the Wu-Tang documentary followed by ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE at 10 p.m. and then ShoBox at 10:30.
Next week ALL ACCESS will be active a daily basis debuting new short form episodes every day during fight week. Then we get to the fight itself. Look, I’m not going to give you too much about this.
You have two s6-foot-s7 heavyweights with a combined 90% knockout ratio so you really don’t have to sell too much on this one. Since 2015, SHOWTIME has featured 14 heavyweight world title fights.. We are happy to see the resurgence of the heavyweight division. We’re proud for our role in it. No other network has been as committed to the heavyweight division and no other network has done more to bring about this resurgence.
So we are thrilled to be seeing the heavyweights back on this massive stage once again. As I mentioned combined record of these two fighters, 60 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw, 57 KOs. That is a knockout rate over 90%.
Deontay Wilder, obviously he’s coming off two of his most exciting and certainly career-defining performances – a Fight of the Year caliber fight against Luis Ortiz in March of 2018 and then his pay-per-view debut against Tyson Fury.
Those were two of the most exciting heavyweight fights that we’ve seen in quite some time. In Dominic Breazeale, Wilder will be facing a tall, strong, experienced and very motivated opponent.
At 6-foot-7, Dominic is one of the few heavyweights in the division who looks eye to eye with Deontay so that will be a different experience. With 18 KO victories in 21 professional fights, he has been on the world stage before taking on Anthony Joshua in the U.K.
And it’s no secret that there’s a personal rivalry from these two guys so there is no shortage of motivation. All in all we’re looking forward to this three fight card. Again, ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE will kick it off Friday at 10 p.m. followed by ShoBox and we will see all of you a week from Saturday in Brooklyn.
Thanks Stephen. And yes, now we are going to turn to “Trouble” himself, Dominic “Trouble Breazeale”. He’s 20 and 1, with 18 knockouts. He’s a WBC mandatory challenger. He’s a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Glendale, California.
For this fight it’s his first fight training with Virgil Hunter in the Bay area. He previously challenged Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title in 2016 and he won his last three fights by knockout.
So without further ado, we’d love to hear from you Dominic and if you’d like to make opening comments before we open it up the press and just let us know how things are going and your thoughts on the fight a week from Saturday:
Thank you Kelly. Camp is going great up here in the Bay Area. Virgil Hunter’s done a great job of putting things in and implementing my game plan going into this fight May 18.
I’m definitely excited to be fighting on the world stage again for the WBC title. May 18 is going to be an explosive night. You’ve got two knockout artists, two big six-foot-seven guys.
I’m super excited to be involved with the event. I’m super excited to get a big KO win May 18. Like I said, the body feels great. Camp has gone up and beyond what I expected it to be.
I’m super ready. I can’t wait to get on this plane and get to New York and get this started.
Deontay Wilder has turned out to be a pretty good heavyweight champion. What makes you think you can beat him?
Your opinion on him being a pretty good heavyweight champion, that’s your opinion alone. I don’t think anyone else agrees with you on that one. But I don’t see any fundamental skills. I don’t see any successes on his part.
He’s been champion for about four years. He hasn’t grown. He hasn’t changed. Yes, he’s got a big right-hand but don’t we all in the heavyweight division? We all have knockout power.
So I think I’m walking into a fight where I’m the more skilled, more athletic and bigger, stronger guy.
You’re training with Virgil Hunter now. What has he brought to the table for you?
A little bit of everything. don’t see how I’ve come this far in my career, ten years of boxing now and haven’t learned some of the fundamental basics that he’s used to restructure me.
Yes, they’ve always been there but with this new approach training he was able to bring a lot more out in my fundamentals as far as when I use my jab and how I use it and other things that we plan on using in our game plan on May 18.
How badly would you like a knockout in this specific fight given all the animosity that’s been going on between yourself and Wilder that stems back to your issues a couple of years ago in Birmingham?
Going into every fight is probably the biggest fight of your life. And I’m always looking for a huge knockout, something to impress the fans and impress the boxing community.
At the same time, I’m never looking for it. I’m never trying to surge and try too hard to get the knockout. I always let it come. But this one, it’s going to be a lot better success. It’s going to be a lot better sleeping May 18 the night after I win the title, if I get a knockout.
Don’t get me wrong. A win’s a win but at the same time I want to impress the world. I want to impress the boxing community with a big knockout. When I say big knockout one where my right hand, my left hand is going to make contact and he goes out. Doesn’t get back up.
So what would be the personal satisfaction on that besides just the great accomplishment to win the heavyweight belt?
The personal thing from the outside of the ring makes the revenge factor. You approach myself and my wife and kids in a situation that was not boxing related.
The gratification and the fact that my personal revenge, knocking out Deontay Wilder is a lot bigger than just an actual win or KO on any other given night.
How do you think that you can stand-up to his right hand, if Anthony Joshua was able to get you?
I’ve grown a lot in the last few years. The Joshua fight was an eye opener. It was good experience. I learned then that I was standing there a lot more and taking some damage that I didn’t need to take because of the big guy that I am.
As I said earlier, Wilder’s got a big right hand but so do I and I’ve got a big left hook. In the heavyweight division if you don’t have knockout power, you’ve got no reason to be in the division.
So yes, Wilder’s going to throw some leather and make some contact by all means. Boxing, it’s all about hitting and not getting hit. I don’t plan on getting hit a lot May 18 and if I do, I’ve been there. I’ve done that before.
At the same time I plan on putting on all the punishment. And if the right hand comes, so be it. I’ll deal with it. It’s part of boxing.
We want to see the heavyweight champions fight each other. What is your statement on that as far as the way that people look at the heavyweight division right now?
I don’t disagree with you or the boxing fans just because I’m a boxing fan myself. Of course you always want to see the title holders fight each other.
But right now I think those five names you mentioned, myself, Andy Ruiz, Tyson Fury, Wilder and Joshua, we are the top of the division and the fans are getting exposed to what they want to see. They’re getting exposed to a heavyweight fight.
When I fight Wilder May 18 it’s not going to be boring. It’s going to be action packed. It’s going to be big punch after big punch. And the thing with Joshua and Andy Ruiz, I’m excited to be part of the division. I’m excited to be where I am now standing. I’m also super excited to be the spoiler.
Wilder’s had a great deal on the table, whenever he was working with Joshua and I think he should have taken it because come May 18, I’m going to ruin everything.
I’m going to put my name in that hat with Joshua and I definitely want my revenge against Joshua so we’re going to make some things up in the near future. My way to do that is to get my WBC title and that’s what I plan on doing.
You think that fight against Carlos Negron might have knocked off some ring rust and maybe helped you prepare for the fight against Deontay Wilder?
Yes, anytime you have a little bit of layoff, a little bit of ring rust you don’t want that of course but I was glad I was able to do it December 22 against Carlos Negron.
I’m happy to be getting in the ring as soon as I am now for the WBC title shot. There wasn’t a long layoff between me in the ring December 22, taking a couple of days off for Christmas and New Years and getting right back in the gym in January.
So I think like I said earlier, I’ve had a great camp. I’ve had a lot less layoff than in the past and all cylinders are firing.
Was it tough having to wait before you knew you would get that opportunity to face Deontay?
Yes, definitely tough. I won the WBC title eliminator against Eric Molina and then to be told that it’s going to be sometime, six months, seven months which turned into I think almost about a year.
That was very tough because I’m one of the guys who stayed in the gym. I’m sparing every other day or sparing once a week. I’m always in the gym and I’m always working. Sometimes that can take a toll on you.
But fortunately in my favor it worked out great. I got another fight against Carlos Negron and attended the WBC mandatory and here a year and a half later getting ready to fight for a world title. In a sense, it kept me motivated. It kept me working.
What did you think of Deontay’s performance against Tyson Fury? Did watching that fight kind of give you a better idea of what you need to do to beat Deontay Wilder?
Yes, definitely. It gave me some better things to be focusing on and to hone in on at the same time. I was there in person.
I thought Fury won that fight. I know he got knocked down a couple of times but as far as the boxing, the world looks at him how he scored in a boxing match. Tyson outscored Wilder that night and won that fight.
Fury did some good things. He had some great defensive movements. He did some good attacks as well as counter punching. On the other hand, Wilder did the same thing over and over like he’s done in his last four, five fights – over the last four or five years is throw the one, two and hopefully hope and pray that the right hand lands eventually.
There were some things that I learned from the fight as well as some things I’ve continuously seen over and over, time and time again.
What were your thoughts when you got found by Michael King?
The idea first came across in a phone call. Joe Onowar, he called me, he was the recruiter at the time. I completely thought he was crazy.
`There was no way in hell that I was going to pick up boxing at 23 years old after I’d done football, basketball, track, baseball, hockey, wrestling – all that as a kid. Never stepped foot into a boxing ring, then to pick it up as a sport at 23 years old when I was at the end of my career.
Honestly at the time I thought it was a real dumb idea but three months into it after I had my first amateur fight and 18 months later when I became a 2012 Olympian and now 10 years later now I’m fighting for the WBC World Title, I think Michael King was the smartest man on the planet.
For me to be the one that came out the man on top is special, there were hundreds of athletes that came to the door. I feel like the idea of turning a Division One athlete into a professional boxer. It was crazy then ten years ago but now, I think it’s a great phenomenal idea.
Even Jim Brown thought that with a couple months of training he could fight Muhammad Ali. Why is it that football players have this idea that hey, if I’m good at football I can be just as good at boxing?
I think the idea of the contact was that thinking that I’m a big man. I’m aggressive. I’m powerful, that type of thing. In the football world you’d think of the defensive ends, the linebackers, the running backs, the left tackle, the guys that have the most contact on the football field would be the biggest, baddest guy in the boxing ring. Not true.
Here you are, you’re talking to a quarterback who usually takes all the damage and they always want to put a yellow jersey or a pink jersey on during practice and don’t touch the quarterback type of deal. The tables are turned and I’m actually the aggressor and I’m the knockout puncher now.
The guys in the football world believe that because they can hit somebody with their shoulder or they can make the big tackle that they can throw some gloves on and throw their lives in the ring. It’s a different story man.
And like Mike Tyson said it best. Everybody has a game plan so they get punched in the mouth.
When you were quarterbacking at Northern Colorado, if you had gotten some feedback from
NFL people that you might have been a draftee in the top three rounds, would you have even entertained Mr. King’s offer to go into boxing?
No, not at all. Actually that was be the scenario. I was actually pursuing the NFL. Things didn’t pan out the way I wanted them to. And it turned out that Michael King was still there when the NFL door closed so that’s why I began to venture into the boxing world.
To tell you the truth, I actually started boxing to stay in shape for football camps but soon those doors closed and boxing was the only thing I had. And I’m grateful for it now. God’s put boxing into my life and it’s been a blessing in disguise.
Did you ever doubt you would get back into the title picture and what does it mean now to get another chance at the heavyweight title?
Yes, going into depression sometimes and things like that. I’m a pretty positive, optimistic type of guy. My way of bouncing back from that title shot against Joshua was to study the film day in and day out.
I watched it round after round, minute after minute. I watched it in silence. I watched it with people. I watched it without people. And I guess I can say that the quarterback background in me kind of studying. And I wanted to see everything that I did wrong.
I didn’t want to see anything I did right because I understood there were things that were done right but there were a lot more things that were done wrong. I wanted to capitalize on my mistakes.
That’s what I did at the time. Me and my trainer Manny Robles went back to California and kind of restructured my boxing skills and they grew. And lucky enough that we were fortunate enough to have three big KO wins and here we are back again fighting for the world title.
I’m looking forward. I learned a lot more from that one loss than I learned from all my wins in my whole boxing career and amateur career. So that one lifetime experience in the summer of 2016 against Joshua was a lot bigger for my boxing career than anything could have been.
Do you see the incident that happened with Wilder as motivation right now or do you want to get beyond that so you’ll be able to fight as clearly as possible when you face Wilder on the 18th?
It’s been the biggest motivational tool in this last camp. It’s the one thing that gets me up early in the morning to run. It’s the thing that gets me through the 10th and 11th and 12th round of sparring. It’s the idea of I want to achieve and stay focused.
It’s definitely been a huge motivator for camp. I think I’m going to close here pretty soon, the week of the fight. It’s more or less going to be the mental idea that I’m going into a heavyweight title fight to perform my best, to fulfill my best.
I’m not going to take any of that emotion or craziness into the fight because if you do that you’ve already lost the battle.
Okay, great. That’s our last question for you Dominic. We really appreciate you taking the time as you finish up your training today to be on this call. Dominic, any last words?
Thank you Kelly. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate you all having me. I’m looking forward to having an explosive firework night on May 18. The fight week is going to be great.
I’m feeling great. Looking forward to travelling and can’t wait to get started Saturday night.
At this time, I want to introduce everybody to the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, none other than Deontay Wilder.
He is 40 and 0 with one draw and he has 39 knockouts. Representing his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he’ll be looking to make the ninth defense of his heavyweight title that he won back in January 2015.
In 2018 he had two of the most exciting and memorable fights of the year. He defeated then unbeaten Luis Ortiz in March knocking him out in the tenth round of a back and forth war.
Then in December he dropped Tyson Fury twice, including in the 12th round of their clash that eventually ended in a split draw. This Saturday, May 18 he will be defending his title for the fourth time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and he has had knockouts in all three of his previous defenses there.
Also joining him on the line is Shelly Finkel, for any questions you might have for him. I’d like to introduce none other than the Heavyweight Champ of the World, Deontay Wilder to make his opening comments before we open it up to the press.
Hello guys. How you guys doing? Thank you guys for coming along. What can I say that I haven’t already said? I’m excited about May 18. It’s been a long camp. It’s been a hard camp. It’s also been a fun camp. Very interesting as well too.
I broke myself back down to the basics and I’ve invested in myself more than I’ve ever done in my career thus far. It’s crazy this opponent has allowed me to break myself down and get back to the basics because I’ve already stated what I want to do.
I’m going to do what I said I was going to do just like I do all the time. With this particular fight I’m going to make sure I do it in the worst way possible.
That’s why I decided to break myself down and I decided to invest in myself so I make sure I do exactly what I said that I would do in intense fashion, in a painful way and on an elite level. So I’d like to welcome Breazeale to the elite level.
He’s never been in this level before. He thought he did with Joshua but Deontay Wilder is a whole different beast. I come with a whole different mindset. And we already know that I come with the right hand from hell.
Can you maybe tell us some of the things that you did in camp that were different from before?
Well like I said, I’ll start with a simple thing. I started back jump-roping. I started back doing a lot of speed bags, a lot of different things on the heavy bags.
Most of the time my camps, there’s sparring with the mitts and that’s through all of them. If you go into other camps you’ll see them hitting everything in the gym but not hard. I get away with so much because I know my true ability and my training. A lot of these guys, they only look for one particular thing and that’s the right hand. That’s where they go wrong because I have so many different attributes about myself.
I’m athletic. I’m agile. I’m mobile. I’m hostile. I’ve got the heart of a lion. I am a king. I’ve purchased a lot of different equipment to enhance my body and to perform, like a Jacuzzi and strength training equipment.
I’ve got the top of the line Jacuzzi for therapy, different things like that. My home, in my basement I attempted to put a full gym, a personal gym, a real nice one. And it’s been amazing. 24 hours of training.
I had got to the point where I had to stop training so hard. My doctor advised me not to train so hard because it always kept me up. I went off to the gym and then I’d come home. And then when you have a gym at the house it’s like and you’ve got a fight coming up, it’s non-stop thinking.
So if you’re thinking about the fight, your body is going to react and so you go downstairs and start working out or start hitting the bag or start doing a lot of things. I’ve got massage table here and I’ve got a lot of different things here that I never thought about doing before.
But now, like I said, I want to bring the pain. I want to do so much damage to this guy that he’s allowed me to invest in myself, something I should have done a long time ago. But it’s never too late for new things and for me it just relit my career.
It relit the interest in boxing. I’ve been through so much in this sport ups and downs. And it took all this time. It took this motivation right here. It’s paid off outside of the ring
Everything I say I mean. And I do what I say. And that’s what makes me who I am. I’m the realest champion in the business and that’s where I am at this point.
Deontay, what convinced you to make these changes? Is there any one thing that made you do that or is it a combination of things?
I owe it all to Breazeale. I owe it all to him.
Like I said, I’m coming to bring the pain. If you don’t understand that, you’ll see. My actions speak louder than my words. I’m not one of these guys that just talks just to hear myself talk or who’s cloud chasing or just to say some stuff, because I am who I am.
I don’t waste my time. I’ve always been like that. This hasn’t just started because I’ve gotten into boxing. I became a champion.
Anyone that’s grown with me, anyone that’s been around me will tell you when Deontay’s speaking and saying something, even my managers and my trainers, they all will tell you when this guy speaks he means it. He don’t say nothing just to say it. Like he really means it.
And the thing is that when I’m outside of this ring, a man comes to my city and starts chaos like that and then telling a bogus story, try to sell sympathy and wants people to show sympathy and remorse. I don’t like that.
I don’t like that at all. He’s like one of these guys that will come into your establishment and waste water on the floor and slip on it just to sue you. What goes around comes around.
This May 18, it will be my time. It’s punishment time. It’s judgement time. And I am the judge.
You’ve long been a critic of the epidemic of PED’s in boxing. It obviously came to the forefront with this Jarrell Miller and Anthony Joshua situation. What went through your mind when you see a guy fail three tests?
Where do I start with it? I’ve always told people about Jarrell Miller. I’ve always said certain things. I know a lot of things about a lot of fighters, because I know the people that I’ve fought.
Like they tell me, the doctors tell me. They’re not my friend. I’m just here for the business. And that sounds about right. I give out subliminal messages. I’m not a rat. I don’t go around and call names out and stuff. But I’ve been saying a lot of things.
One particular time I said something about Jarrell Miller. I said, you better stop doing this, this and this. Somebody put out the video before. Finally, when things happened, people were saying, hey Wilder’s been saying that.
Yes, I’ve been saying that. Why can’t you believe me in the first place? I’m one of these types of people that people don’t believe things I say happened, which is okay because it’s too late.
Another thing about the situation. There’s so many things you can say about the situation. I’m just tired of talking about it so I’ll leave it as this. I’m always talking about what can happen in the ring. This sport, you know, killing a man in the ring.
This boxing is so dangerous, so brutal. When you get these guys on these PEDs and stuff like that, this is what they’re going to do.
Like I’m natural. I’m natural so I feel like I have the right to speak my peace because I am the one that’s entering the ring. I am the one and my opponent’s the one that’s risking their life.
But when you’re getting guys that are doing PEDs and asking their bodies to do things they’re not supposed to do – no one really just criticizes. Even with the organizations, when is there going to be a time when somebody puts their foot down and shows somebody?
There’s so much stuff you can say with that man. Like I said, it is what it is. It’s a brutal sport that we’re in and I love it. I love it. I signed up so I’ve got to suffer the consequences and deal with everything that comes behind it and I’m here.
Dominic said that he doesn’t think anybody would agree with me that you’ve become a pretty good world champion. What are your thoughts on that?
I mean that was what every opponent I’ve faced has said. Every one of them. If it’s been ten years, then for ten years they’ve been spewing the same thing for ten years – what have I been doing?
I’m still here. I’m still a champion. It’s different when you get in the ring with me then. Any guy that has gotten in the ring with me or that gets in the ring with me – when I say gets in the ring I mean a sparring partner.
The guys that have gotten in the ring with me, being future opponents, they will tell you, this man is not what you think he is. But it’s good that people think that way.
People are simple minded, people like him think that way because when you enter into that ring and you feel that first blow, you know that you’re in for a fight. My mindset is different. My mindset is so big that a spaceship can fit in it.
I am here for the long run. This is not a short run for me. I’m here for a generational one. I’m betting on myself. I’m taking control of my career in my own hands because I am the talent. I know what I possess. A lot of these guys wish they had what I have. That’s just an easy way to cop out. For ten years this is what he’s been doing with his right hand.
We’re going to find out and it’s not going to be long now either. He’s going to find out. So he’s going to realize that he’s never been in a ring with a guy like myself. He’s fought for the world title before and it seemed like he didn’t belong there in the first place.
Now he’s in there with a real killer. A real one who speaks that speaks his peace and I mean what I say. Nobody’s going to stop me. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and come the 18th he’s going to find out.
This guy is very nervous. I know everything that he wants to do. I know it all. And he should be nervous because I don’t mean no good for him. All bad intentions. If you’re a first time viewer of boxing, I don’t know, it depends on how you feel about seeing a body on the ground or seeing blood on somebody. You’re going to be in for a treat.
I hope you stick around for the next one and the next one to come because I’m the most exciting heavyweight in the business, period. Period. There’s no one that’s more exciting that brings the pain and that brings the drama as I. And I can speak it.
A lot of you guys, you know who want to be kind and soft and want to be politically correct and want to talk tough. No, I’ll tell you what I feel in the moment of time. I feel the energy in the room. I feel the energy in myself and I release that.
I tell you how it is and when the time comes for me to display that I do that as well and I do it in a great fashion.
Is there any kind of competition within you to want to show the boxing public or the fans that you Joshua and Fury are all fighting within a 30 day period roughly and you want to be the one to show as the best performance of those three to sort of let people continue to gauge you against each other?
I never even thought about that. Nor will I think about it after this conversation because I know what I possess. I know who I am and as you can see, I’m the most exciting out of all of those guys.
These guys don’t bring the excitement that I bring. Tyson Fury’s the most boring one of all or of us. So I think I just continue to do what I do and do what I do best and that’s knock these guys out silly. I’m not in competition with none of them.
They’re great guys. They’re great fighters themselves and I expect them to be themselves. Don’t add no pressure onto it. Do what you all do. And Deontay Wilder’s going to do what he does.
How do you explain to the public why those fights are not happening at the moment?
Well it’s simple. If they took the time and took a deep breath and sat back and reflected on their past and what has happened there. I know we’re in the present right now and the future’s bright as well too.
But if you look back in the past and sit back and see what Deontay has already tried to do to him and his team has tried to do, let’s start out with Fury first. With Fury since Fury felt like everyone got that perspective of him beating me from the commentary.
When you get new people come in, they don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t’ know what’s going on so they’re going to look for the so-called experts of the sport and listen to them.
So let’s start from there. They carry away with that. So if I’m a fighter and I’m thinking, hey, I beat his ass, my first reaction is, I want an immediate rematch. I feel like they got that wrong.
You want an immediate reaction rematch because you know the second rematch ain’t nothing. That’s going to be simple. It’s going to be easy.
So what we did – I said, hey, I know what I did. I whipped your ass. I was more aggressive. I want to understand, what was the main highlight of the fight the whole night? I think we all can answer that. It’s Fury being knocked on his ass and getting back up. That was the whole highlight of the whole fight.
So in essence, I’m saying, hey, I won so I want a rematch. As a champion instead of moving forward I want to give you this rematch because I want to bless you. So what did he do? So if you’re a guy that knows that you’re beating me with a wild margin, you immediately take that rematch.
You don’t run or get other fighters. You immediately take that. Fury knows. I gave him a concussion. When you get a man that doesn’t understand how he got on the ground nor how he got up, his brain has been shocked. He don’t want that fight no more.
He don’t want to get in no more. As as a fighter we must promote ourselves. We must carry this type of ego like I’m the man and I did this and that because we don’t want people to look on us as punks or somebody’s that scared.
Because you’re a fighter. You’re not supposed to be scared. Well we’re human beings as well too. So if he’s on his side he knows the real reason. That’s why he’s fighting another guy. That’s why he had the contract in his face for five days to a week.
Then ESPN came along and all of them. He didn’t want that fight or I wouldn’t have had to fight my mandatory. I would have gone straight to Fury and then with Breazeale.
With Joshua it’s easy. Four months we tried. Four different occasions. Maybe five different occasions. 12.5, 15 flat fee. He said, I want 50/50. We gave that to him. Well, no, my country deserves for me to fight here so I’m going to fight here.
So he didn’t want to fight on his own so they had to step in and make the fight and then they had to come back and apologize because they weren’t prepared for us. That’s what – four or five times we tried to make the fight? Now they cry because they don’t have nowhere to do.
Go back and study it. Go back and see, who really is the king of the division? Who really tried to make these fights? Then when you come back you’ll find yourself in a better place and you’ll come with peace with yourself.
The PR people sent this out and I found it to be very interesting. The fight that you’re going to have against Breazeale is going to be your ninth title defense. You’re starting to edge into historical names on the list of heavyweights that have made that many defenses, if you’re successful against Breazeale.
Nin is how many defenses Muhammad Ali made the first time he was champion. It’s the number of title defenses that Mike Tyson made in his first famous title reign. And it’s the number of title defenses that Lennox Lewis made in his second championship reign which was obviously when he was at his very best.
What would it mean to you to sort of put yourself in that list of guys to get to the ninth title defense in the heavyweight division?
It means a lot. I means a great deal to me. It means a lot to accomplish that. It means that I’ve proved so many people wrong and still to this day I’m proving people wrong.
It’s going to be a great accomplishment not only in the past – so many great fighters that came before me but to continue to go forward to be the number one guy. I’ve still got a long way to go to do what I want to do in this sport.
I will accomplish everything I set forth to do. I’m an amazing fighter. I’m an amazing talent and I’ve got an amazing team behind me. And with that combination man, the sky’s the limit.
I feel like this fight is a little more personal to you than maybe some of your past fights, do you agree?
Oh, most definitely. Oh man and that’s not a laugh of joy. That’s an evil laugh. In an evil scene, the evil man’s got to laugh. That’s my evil laugh.
I think this is the most excited I’ve been and the most I wanted to hurt a man since 2015 with Bermane Stiverne. And we all know what happened to him. And the second time was just playing around with him.
With this one right here, the story that comes behind it, people have got to understand when you’re dealing with Deontay Wilder, I’m passionate about what I say. I’m passionate about what I do.
Dominic Breazeale better display himself on that night, because I put him on my card. He didn’t have to be on my card. But you come to my hometown and cause this mess? And like I said before you want to start this drama and act like you were the victim and your wife was the victim? He’s an opportunist and I don’t’ like that.
So I needed this boost as a champion of the division, I needed this boost. Like I said, I never thought of investing in myself the way I’ve done. To be a champion and get away with so many different things, man it’s been crazy.
But now I’ve turned every stone over man. This is the most precise camp that I’ve ever had, in my entire life. I feel it tops all camps and I needed this re-ignition in my life. I needed this extra boost because I will do what I say I’m going to do and that night I’m damn well going to try. I guarantee you that.
Was it frustrating for you to kind of have to reset yourself and now think about preparing for other opponents that are going to be wanting to fight you starting with Dominic Breazeale?
No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t hard for me. You’ve got to look at what I’ve been through. I keep talking about the past. You’ve got to see what I’ve been through with different guys disappointing me.
Failing drug tests. Making me lose out on a lot of money. And stuff like that. So I understand the business of boxing and I know that if you have something in place one minute, the next minute it could be gone just like that.
Once you go through this cycle and you go through it over and over again, you try to get the understanding, a better understanding of fights and what’s to come. Nothing is guaranteed until you’re in that ring and that guy throws the first blow.
As we can see even when the bell rings, it doesn’t start until that first blow is thrown because we’ve got guys that will get out of the damn ring at the time the bell rings.
So things like that have prepared me. I understand as a fighter why he made that decision. I hurt Tyson Fury very badly. I gave him a crushing.
Like I said, the man had memory loss and that’s not healthy. That’s not healthy for you and as a man, as a man with a family, hey, if you need a warm-up, a tune-up to see if your marbles are back in place, go do that. Take as many more months as you need.
We understand. He said he got three more fights and then be out of here. We all know why he’s going to be out of here because one of those fights leads up to me. And I’m going to finish it. I’m going to finish the job.
So I understand it all. I have a guy there that can’t understand things. Even in everyday life there’s someone going through something. I try. My mind, like I said is so big and spacious so when you are describing something and telling me something I try to take my mind in a virtual reality and put myself in your position.
I try to look at every aspect possible and try to go and understand. So I understand why he made that decision. I understand it all. And it’s healthy that I want the best Fury when that time comes, just like I want with all these guys.
Because I don’t want no excuses. I’m the only fighter that can come in with damaged arms and body mashed and still knock you out because I am blessed. My grandma said I was anointed by God. And she was so right.
I’m just wondering if you’ll talk about this topic of betting on yourself and what the plan is on your career to maximize the value you can get out of it?
Yes, most definitely. Like I said, if anybody’s going to take my career, it’s going to be myself. I understand we used to have a promoter and what comes in the contract with having a promoter.
But when you get to a certain point and you know you’re the talent and they’re coming to see your talent. And if you have the opportunity, why not take a chance on yourself?
Why not bet on yourself and I have a smart team that educated me and guided me through. No matter what people say about certain people, I have a wonderful team.
Me and Shelly and Jay Deas, we started together. We’re going to end together. And when we brought Al along, even more it made me and my team strong.
So who I’m with now? It’s who I’m going to end with. And they guided me all the way through. They’re going to make sure that not only do I go in history but they go in history as well as a team and it’s a blessing to have such a strong team in a business that’s so dirty.
That’s why I bet on myself. I have everything established and set for myself. My own promotion. And we’re looking forward to doing great things.
We’re very serious in the promotion. I know a lot of guys, oh, I’ve got a promotion coming up. Well that sounds good but what do you really want to do with it? And I’m in it for the long run.
I think I have the talent and ability to display myself in a way that can bring excitement in a way I’ve already done but the next step is to cement outside of the ring.
I think I’m going to be able to promote fighters and be able to talk about them and not talk about myself and be able to really promote fighters and bring the next Deontay Wilder or the next whoever they want to be.
I always say, even as I tell my brother I don’t want you to be just like me. I want you to be better than me. I’m the type of person that even if you do better than me, I’m happy for you.
And a lot of people are not like that because some people you do get equal to them or higher than them. That’s when the jealousy and envy come. I’m not that type of person.
My heart is of gold. I’m a provider and protector. And I love to see people do great even if it’s better than I.
Deontay is willing to take the risk both in taking low money and he’s willing to walk away. One of the most powerful words in the world is no and he is strong enough to say no and believe in himself that whatever he said no to now would be worth a lot more later.
So far that has proven through and I don’t see any reason it won’t be going forward. He’s a very, very strong human, not physically but mentally. And when you’re with him, you’re with him and he’s with you. There’s nothing better.
People have tried to break us up. His strength of who he is, means he knows who was there for him whether it be Jay or Al or myself. And that’s who he sticks with. I’m just very proud of him and proud to be part of his team.
What I’d like to do is ask Deontay if he has final thoughts before we hang up. And we look forward to seeing you next week in Brooklyn for Fight Week. Deontay?
May 18 is the time. I think everyone is being patient with this little thing that we have going on in the heavyweight division.
Just look at it and consider this – the excitement is back in the heavyweight division. The fire is lit. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my career because of everything that’s going on with it.
So I ask people just to be patient. And with patience comes time. And you’ve got to be able to even both out, patience and time, because they all work together.
You’re going to get the main fight that you guys want to see. The great thing about it is that we’re all still in discussion. I can understand if it was a closed door and we’re not having no discussion with nobody. Then it would be something that really would be a laid out or drawn out thing.
But everyone is still in discussion and talking and it’s just going to take a little time but I just tell people, the fans of boxing, people that’s coming in boxing, everyone just to have patience. The big fights are going to happen.
You know that when the big fights happen, you know that Deontay Wilder’s involved in it because most of these guys they live by the motto of less risk with high rewards.
But we know that I’ve taken high risks with low rewards. We’ve gotten smarter. We’ve proven ourselves. And we’re doing our own thing. Like I said, we’re betting on ourselves and when I bet on myself, you’re going to get great response.
You’re going to get great shows out of me. And I’m looking forward to May 18. So I’ll see you guys there and I’m looking forward to you guys. And I also want to announce my new clothing line. I got it coming out that will be sold online. You can look out for that. That way you can get your gear and are ready for May 18 and support me.
Deontay Wilder: “Come May 18th, It’s Punishment Time”
By: Sean Crose
“I thought Fury won that fight,” heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale said on a Thursday conference call, referring to last December’s Deontay Wilder – Tyson Fury title matchup. Now it’s Breazeale who will be facing Wilder, for on May 18th, the two men will face off at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center for Wilder’s WBC belt in a bout that will be aired live on Showtime. Although some see the 40-0-1 Wilder as perhaps the best heavyweight on earth, the 20-1 Breazeale isn’t particularly impressed. “I don’t see any fundamental skills,” Breazeale said of his foe. “He hasn’t grown. He hasn’t changed. He has a big right hand, but don’t we all in the heavyweight division?”
After having a searing incident in a Birmingham hotel lobby with Wilder and his team several years ago, Wilder made it clear that he’s used the experience as motivation for the May 18th bout. “It’s been the biggest motivational tool in these last ten weeks of camp,” he told me on the call. Still, the fighter indicated he’s not going to let the memory of the incident take away from his game plan. “I’m not going to take any of that emotion and crazy antics into the fight,” he added. “If you do that, you already lose the battle.”
As for Wilder, the WBC champ claimed he went back to the basics for the upcoming match with Breazeale. “It got to the point I had to stop training so hard,” he said on the call, “my doctor advised me to stop training so hard.” The hotel incident has clearly motivated Alabama’s Wilder, as it has Breazeale. According to Wilder, Breazeale has falsely presented himself as the victim of the chaos of that evening. “What goes around comes around,” Wilder said. “Come May 18th it’s punishment time.”
There is little doubt that Wilder can promote a fight. Whether he’s speaking of himself (“I have the heart of a lion. I am a king.”), PED use (“I’m natural. I feel like I have the right to speak my peace”), or the boxing game in general (“It’s a brutal sport that we’re in, and I love it.”), the man makes people take notice when he talks. Still, his anger with Breazeale certainly came across as legitimate on the call. He described his opponent several times Thursday as someone who would enter a business, spill water, then slip on it in order to bring about a lawsuit.
“I want,” Wilder said, “to bring the pain.”
TGB Promotions President Tom Brown Discusses the Heavyweight Landscape
By: Hans Themistode
The Heavyweight division is about to heat up in the next few weeks. Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) will make his Heavyweight debut when he takes on Carlos Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs). Unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time as he battles against once beaten Andy Ruiz (32-1, 21 KOs). The “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury also takes his undefeated record and Lineal crown on the line when he takes on the obscure Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in Las Vegas. All of these men will be fighting in close proximity to one anther, and will be looking to make a statement.
Before any of these fighters step into the ring however, WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will grace the ring first as he takes on Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) in what is certain to be a barn burner of a fight.
With so many intriguing matchups taking place in the Heavyweight division, who better to ask on their opinion of the Heavyweight landscape than TGB Promotions President Tom Brown. He gave us his thoughts on several of the top names in the Heavyweight division.
The reign of Wilder began in 2015, since then he has continued to dominate his opposition. Outside of a draw against Tyson Fury, Wilder has stopped every opponent he has stepped inside of the ring with. He has been a world champion for over four years which marks him as the longest current world champion.
His level of dominance has lead many to believe that he is in fact the best Heavyweight in the world. Count Tom Brown as one of those that believe’s the Tuscaloosa native is indeed the best Heavyweight fighter out there today.
“I think Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world. He’s a great fighter and I believe he is the best.”
Brown’s thoughts are shared by many. The Heavyweight division is known for its big men with explosive power. Any fighter in the division can end a fight with one punch. Wilder’s power seems to boarder around a freakish level.
His adversary come May 18th, Dominic Breazeale, has only tasted defeat once. He has collected wins against solid opposition such as Carlos Negron, Eric Molina and Amir Mansour. Still, Breazeale is considered a long shot to defeat Wilder come fight night. Brown on the other hand doesn’t agree with that opinion.
“Breazeale is a terrific fighter. He’s only lost once and that was to Anthony Joshua who is another great fighter. People have to remember that Breazeale didn’t start boxing until he was 23 years old. He was good enough to make the 2012 olympic team. Do people understand how difficult it is to make that team? Especially without much amateur experience. He’s only going to get better and he’s going to give Wilder a very good fight come May 18th.”
Wilder vs Breazeale has all the makings of a great fight. These two also have a heated history outside of the ring which is sure to add fuel to the fire. As mentioned previously, many of the top Heavyweights are slated to enter the ring soon after Wilder.
Former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will be looking to make a statement as he enters the ring one week after Wilder.
“I think Usyk is unbelievable. He’s always impressed me, I think very highly of him. I think he’ll be a threat to anyone in the division because he’s so talented.”
Usyk, is on many if not all pound for pound lists. His introduction in to the Heavyweight division will make it an interesting one. He dominated the Cruiserweight division but will he able to do the same as he forays into the land of the big men is a question he must answer.
One fighter who will have his own questions to answer is Anthony Joshua. The unified champion won’t have a soft touch for his U.S. debut as his opponent Andy Ruiz, is as talented as they come.
“I think Joshua has a really tough fight ahead of him against Andy Ruiz. He has really fast hands, very skilled and the heart of a real warrior. I give him a real chance in that fight.”
As for how exactly Brown would go about ranking all of the Heavyweight’s he made sure to not mince words.
“Listen all of these fighters are great but I really believe that Deontay Wilder is the best Heavyweight in the world.”
It’s hard to argue with the sentiments spewed by Brown. However, with the big men all stepping inside the ring in short order, they can all stake their claim as the best in the world very soon.
Hearn – Wilder to Face Ortiz and Kownacki After Breazeale, Joshua to Face Ruiz
By: Michael Kane
Eddie Hearn has revealed that he keeps being told Deontay Wilder has a further two fights lined up for after the Dominic Breazeale fight. Unfortunately they are not against either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.
According to Hearn, Wilder will face Luis Ortiz and Adam Kownacki in his next fights. Pushing a likely unification fight with Anthony Joshua to next year at the earliest. Wilder defends his WBC Heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale on May 18th.
Hearn told Barbershop Conversations: “Everybody in the business tells me that he [Wilder] has been told and all these fighters have been told that his next fights are Ortiz and Kownacki.
“That worries me because the only fight we want next is Deontay.
“They’ve got a plan to fight these other guys in place.”
This news will likely disappoint fans who had hopes of seeing either a Wilder rematch with Tyson Fury or an unification fight with Anthony Joshua.
Hearn is in the U.S this week ahead of the Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs fight this weekend. It seems we are likely also to hear of who Anthony Joshua will face in New York on June 1st.
Andy Ruiz is expected to be confirmed to replace Jarrell Miller, who failed a drug test. The news is likely to be confirmed in the next day or so.
Hearn also unwittingly gave a big hint when asked by reporters if Ruiz will be confirmed a few days ago.
He said: “Yeah, this weekend you’ll get it.”
Plans for Joshua’s U.S debut haven’t gone smoothly, first there were complaints about him facing Miller, then Miller failed a drug test. We then had reports that Luis Ortiz wasn’t taking the fight due to a low ball offer, which Hearn has denied, saying he was being kept back for Wilder.
Now it seems Ruiz is the opponent in a fight that will not whet the appetite of boxing fans in either the U.S or UK.
Joshua, Wilder and Fury – Make Greatness Happen
By: Aziel Karthak
Mayweather–Margarito. Jones Jr.–Benn. Bowe–Lewis. Leonard–Pryor. These are fights that could and should have happened but never materialized.
Mayweather–Pacquiao. De La Hoya–Pacquaio. Lewis–Tyson. Tyson–Holyfield. Ali–Holmes. These are fights that did take place but with one or both fighters past their peak.
Which category will potential fights among Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury inhabit? Real boxing fans will hope that they find a place in a third group, graced by Ali, Frazier and Foreman in the 1970s and Leonard, Hearns, Duran, and Hagler a decade later; one where the best fight the best at or near their fighting primes.
Further, the three most accomplished modern heavyweights have the rare opportunity to unify the belts and bring some order to what is presently a circus. Let this sink in: 70 years ago, the sport had one champion each for its nine weight classes. Today, there are 17 divisions and the four major governing bodies have, between them, over 50 belt holders.
In a way, it is out of the fighters’ hands. Promoters rule. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. There are millions at stake and you’d not want your champion to take a loss against a competitor’s marquee fighter. Also, the reasoning is that the more you stall a potential great fight, the greater the demand and the monetary fruits when it finally happens. Not ideal for the sport, but it is what it is.
Still, we hold on to hope of what can be.
When the dust settled on Wilder vs Fury last December, the heavyweight landscape never looked rosier. The possibilities were endless – they could rematch or one of Wilder or Fury could take on Joshua with other to fight the winner. Why were we dreaming? As things stand today, Wilder has a fight lined up with Dominic Breazeale on May 18, Joshua fights Jarrell Miller two weeks later, and a further fortnight away is Fury’s date with Tom Schwarz. This road is fraught with pitfalls though. There are few other sports where the favorite is as vulnerable as he is in boxing. And no chin is infallible. An upset or upsets is not inconceivable. What then?
We’ll all be back to the carousel. Warren, Hearn and Finkel will take the platform and throw practiced rhetoric at the fans, trying to convince us that those were just blips to better days, which will never come. They will do so without fear of a backlash. Besides being the most short-changed audience in sports, the boxing fanbase is, alas, also among the most easily manipulated.
The Pressure Is On: A Look at the Heavyweight Division
By: Hans Themistode
Pressure bursts pipes.
It’s true isn’t it? If you add enough pressure to anything, eventually it will break. With that being said, that very same pressure can also create diamonds.
In the case of WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, (40-0-1, 39 KOs) Lineal champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and unified belt holder Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), they all share an enormous amount of pressure.
These three men are undoubtedly the very best that the Heavyweight division has to offer but how exactly should they be ranked? Deontay Wilder is the longest reigning title holder of three having held his title since 2015. How about Joshua? He does hold the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles. He also has faced the better opposition of anyone else in the division. Fury may have the best claim to being the divisions best as he is the man that beat the man. In late 2015 he shocked the world in defeating Wladimir Klitschko and ending his nearly ten year reign.
The best way to end the debate is to simply have them face off with one another. Wilder and Fury waged war on one another when they met in the ring on December 1st 2018. It was a fight that saw Fury outbox Wilder for the vast majority of the contest but the WBC champion managed to score two knockdowns including a dramatic one in the 12th and final round. The final call was a draw. It left fans salivating for the sequel. Unfortunately as is the case most times in boxing the rematch was shelved.
Although Joshua has yet to step into the ring with either man he has routinely faced stiff competition. Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and a slew of other top contenders have all fell by the way side when matched up with Joshua.
It seems as though these three fighters are joined at the hip. That trend continues as they will grace the ring within a short amount of time of one another. Wilder will have his WBC title on the line when he takes on mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale on May 18th. Joshua will make his U.S debut on June 1st at Madison Square Garden against the unbeaten Jarrell Miller while Fury will travel to Las Vegas on June 15th to take on the relatively unknown Tom Schwarz.
The longer these fighters don’t step into the squared circle with one another, the more the pressure to win will mount. Not only do they need to win but they also need to do in so in dominant fashion.
With the talent that currently presides in the Heavyweight division, it just takes one bad night from any of those three champions that could ultimately lead to a loss. The fans shudder to think of such an upset. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are great champions. Who is the best from this group will be discovered soon enough as they will face each other at one point in their careers. However until that time comes they all must continue to win.
The question now is, will these fighters allow that pressure to break them and lead them to a loss before they get matched up with one another or will they thrive off that pressure and continue to win? Only time will tell.
Why Deontay Wilder Turned Down Such A Massive Offer
By: Hans Themistode
For years now the two biggest stars in the most historic division have yet to see eye to eye. WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and unified titlist Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) have been verbally attacking each other on social media and whenever a camera is in front of them. Although it’s entertaining to the fans, what would be even more satisfying to see them square off.
With Joshua making his U.S. debut this upcoming June against Jarrell Miller it seems like the stage is finally set for the two to settle things in the ring. Joshua is of course associated with Eddie Hearn’s DAZN platform and Wilder is a free agent that can do as he pleases. His upcoming fight against Dominic Breazeale is taking place on Showtime but going forward he can return to that network or whichever he chooses.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
Hearn has recently extended a hand to Wilder and his team to negotiate the terms of a bout with Joshua. It was then reported that Hearn made a substantial offer of 100 million to Wilder for a three fight deal. Those fights would include Wilders mandatory bout against Breazeale and two fights with Joshua. To the surprise of many Wilder and his team turned the offer down.
On the outside looking in it is easy to criticize Wilder for his decision to not accept the offer. However once he was given a chance to explain exactly why he did not take the offer it is a valid reason.
“They made a very subnational offer but at this point in his career what he has accepted to go forward in a different direction,” said Shelly Finkel who is Wilders co-promoter. “We also feel that when Deontay knocks out Joshua we want millions to see it and right now DAZN doesn’t have that.”
Finkel would also go to discuss some of the unfairness that took place during the negotiation process.
“I don’t want to get into specifics of the contract but if we’re getting offered a dollar it may seem like a lot but you also want to hear what the other guy is getting but we were never told. If the other guy is getting five dollars then that one dollar you were given doesn’t seem like much now does it? They just would not tell us more about the specifics of what Joshua would make in comparison to Deontay.”
It’s hard for fans to stay patient when this could be the biggest fight in boxing today. Nonetheless take a step back and look at things from a financial standpoint. Essentially he would be getting 40 million for both Joshua fights and 20 million for the Breazeale contest. Finkel went on to explain that although that is a high offer, that the number will only continue to rise and the demands of Wilder would need to be compensated as well.
“Look a year ago he was willing to take 15 million flat to fight Joshua. Today he’s not willing to take 40 million. The conditions must be right.”
Wilder summed everything perfectly.
“I’m betting on myself.”
He sure is taking a massive gamble on himself but it is working thus far.
NY Press Conference Notes: Wilder vs. Breazeale
By: Hans Themistode
The New York City Press conference to announce the Heavyweight title clash between WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) was a feisty affair. Both men have a long lasting feud that stretches far beyond the squared circle.
In 2017 the two fought on the same card and both picked up impressive victories. Breazeale’s coming against then Izuagbe Ugonoh and Wilder’s coming against Gerald Washington. Ironically enough both men scored stoppage victories in round five.
Sometime after their contests they got into a dispute that ended in a bit of a tussle. Ask both men what happened and they will both tell you completely different stories. Regardless of what they have been saying, the time for talk is over as they will be squaring off on May 18 at the Barlcays Center.
Wilder has become a staple at the Barclays as it has become some what of a de facto home for the Alabama native. The WBC champion expressed his admiration for the venue as well.
“It’s a blessing to be back in Brooklyn and back at the Barclay Center. You know how dear this place is to me. I’ve been here so many times. Out here they call me the Bronx Bomber instead of the Bronze Bomber and I love it. I’m looking forward to fighting here again.” Said Wilder.
Seems as though it was a calm press conference doesn’t it? Think again. These two bohemians wasted no time expressing their dislike for one another while also giving warnings of what exactly will happen come fight night.
“I finally get a chance to get this chump in the ring. I’m tired of hearing you talk. It’s time to get in the ring and square off.” Said Breazeale.
In the world of boxing it is common place that two fighters don’t like one another but normally there is a healthy level of respect. For Breazeale however there seems to be none there.
“It’s hard for me to believe that Wilder is the Heavyweight champion. How can a man with a lack of boxing skills be the champion? Come fight night he’s going to bring everything that he has. He’s gonna feel my right hand and I might feel his but I guarantee if he feels mines then he’s going down.”
The war of words didn’t stop there as Breazeale explained just how elated he was when he found out that Wilders younger brother Marcellus was knocked out earlier this year.
“Man I was so excited that I sent the guy who did it “Trouble” gear. I wanna take the guy out and buy him dinner, maybe a good steak. I’ve got that highlight in my house.”
There is absolutely no love and no respect shown between these two. In the words of Breazeale, Wilder does everything wrong. But how do you prepare for someone that is so unconventional?
“I don’t know maybe I have to find some tall basketball players to spar against.”
For as much as Breazeale poked fun at Wilder’s expense he made it clear what he intends to do come fight night.
“This fight ain’t going the distance. I’m gonna knock his ass out.”
According to Wilder Breazeale deserved everything that happened to him on that night in Alabama.
“Listen, he sucker punched my brother,” said Wilder to the media. “He hit my brother first and then my brother came around and dropped him. He got embarrassed because my brother was only about 193 pounds. If my bother can do that to him what do you think I’m gonna do to him? I’m gonna knock his ass out come May 18th.”
Whenever Deontay Wilder speaks to the media it is impossible to not address the elephant in the room, meaning Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Wilder made it clear that he is not chasing anyone.
“I’m a king. We don’t chase anyone. I’m not hard to find. They know how to contact me.”
With all of the animosity that was spewed during todays press conference it is safe to say that fans can expect fireworks come fight night.