Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (40-0-1 39KO) will ring-walk for the 42nd time as a professional in New York on Saturday night when he takes on former Anthony Joshua opponent, Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (20-1 18KO) and for the first time, it feels like “The Bronze Bomber” has a point to prove.
We are almost six months on from the controversial bout with Tyson Fury, a fight that many people believe Wilder lost. Up until that point, professional boxing had been alarmingly straight forward for the Alabama native. He amassed an incredible 39KO’s in 40 fights, won the WBC Heavyweight belt and gained a reputation as the most destructive one punch knockout artist the division has ever seen.
However, six months is a long time and as it stands, Wilder finds himself in a precarious position. A rematch with Tyson Fury and the legacy defining unification bout with Anthony Joshua have failed to materialise. Added to that, quotes about wanting to inflict death upon Dominic Breazeale this weekend, have been met with utter discontent by the boxing public.
This fight, like most match ups in boxing these days, has a back story after the two men and their respective teams had a bust up in a hotel lobby in 2017 after Wilder’s victory over Gerald Washington, who is a long-term friend and sparring partner of Dominic Breazeale.
In terms of a boxing match, the odds are stacked heavily in the favour of Deontay Wilder. The natural power that he possesses, in both hands, makes him a favourite in almost every fight but with his defensive frailties being somewhat exposed in his last fight, the heavy handed Breazeale will know that he is only one punch away from not only changing his life but also blowing the whole heavyweight division, wide open.
Breazeale, is a worthy contender, his sole defeat came at the hands of the now unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua (IBF, WBO, WBA). Although he was ultimately stopped in seven rounds by Joshua, he won many plaudits for the toughness he displayed in that fight.
Three stoppage victories have followed and at six foot seven he matches Wilder, at least physically. A link up with trainer Virgil Hunter can only be a bonus and Breazeale has spoken with assured confidence this week when discussing the game-plan that has been constructed by his new trainer.
It would be foolish to disregard Dominic Breazeale on Saturday night as the heavyweight division is notorious for springing shock upsets but his style is one that has historically been vulnerable when facing Wilder. We have seen Wilder struggle with the slick, unorthodox movement of Tyson Fury but in truth, Breazeale won’t be difficult to find and will be more than willing to meet Wilder head on to exchange leather come Saturday night, which will favour the champion.
This simmering rivalry is heading towards its natural conclusion and there is no doubt that “Trouble” will be as tough and resilient as always but the fight is likely to come down to who can land the quickest and in truth, not many heavyweights on the planet right now can outgun Wilder in that department.
“The Bronze Bomber” has not covered himself in glory with his disgraceful comments this week, but he thrives on the big stage, he will embrace his role as the villain and a destructive performance and a highlight reel knockout would be no surprise.