Let’s start with the good news: Deontay Wilder did not end up killing Dominic Breazeale in their heavyweight bout on Saturday. But that’s where the positive takeaways from the fight end for Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs). Just 2:17 into the first round, the Bronze Bomber landed a ferocious right hand on his opponent’s chin that seemed to knock him out cold. Breazeale was able to eventually get up towards the end of the count, but he was unable to replicate the Tyson Fury’s Undertaker-like recovery from December. The referee counted to 10, saw Breazeale’s gaze and waved off the fight. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) had officially won by way of knockout.
Here’s the knockout in slow motion.
(I’m genuinely surprised that Breazeale’s right ear didn’t just fly off after that punch.)
The knockout likely brought an end to the mild feud between the two fighters. Their disdain for one another began in 2017 when Breazeale apparently threatened to kill Wilder’s brother at a hotel after a fight night where both men were on the card. Wilder confronted his future opponent and a scuffle broke out as a result. But even with the bad blood between them, many believed that Wilder went a bit too far with comments he made during fight week.
“If he dies, he dies,’’ Wilder told USA TODAY Sports. “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.”
He also told reporters, “This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time...so why not use my right to do so?” and said the least he could for his opponent if the fight ends with a fatality is pay for his funeral. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman responded to Wilder’s comments, saying they were “against the spirit of our sport,” and that there’d be a hearing about them soon.
But any bad blood between the two fighters was nonexistent after the bell rang as both Wilder and Breazeale shared a hug in the ring.
“I just told Breazeale I love him and of course I want to see him go home to his family,” Wilder said. “I know we say some things but when you can fight a man and then you can hug him and kiss him, I wish the world was like that. We shake hands and we live to see another day and that’s what it’s all about.”
Wilder also spoke about eventually fighting a rematch against Fury and eventually taking on Anthony Joshua. He said “all these fights are in discussion,” and insisted that fans and reporters have patience as they come together.