Tonight at 8:30 pm EST on NBC, Premier Boxing Champions returns with a heavyweight doubleheader from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder facing Johann Duhaupas in the main event.
Wilder (34-0, 33 KO) is the huge favorite tonight, as France's Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KO) is a lightly-regarded fringe contender. This is the second title defense for Wilder following his January title win over Bermane Stiverne, and the hope is that if successful tonight, Wilder will face mandatory challenger and serious contender Alexander Povetkin in 2016.
In the co-feature, 2012 Olympian Dominic Breazeale (15-0, 14 KO) looks to stay undefeated against Fred Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KO). Kassi is coming off of a 10-round draw against Chris Arreola on July 18, while Breazeale is coming off of a win over previously unbeaten Yasmany Consuegra on June 6.
BLH will be here with live round by round coverage tonight, and if you're not near a TV, you can watch a live stream from NBC Sports by clicking here.
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Deontay Wilder def. Johann Duhaupas by TKO (0:45 of round 11)
Dominic Breazeale def. Fred Kassi by unanimous decision (97-93, 98-92, 100-90)
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ROUND BY ROUND
DEONTAY WILDER vs JOHANN DUHAUPAS
Round 1: Duhaupas begins the fight by holding both forearms in front of his face and dipping down like he's approaching a live bomb. Wilder staying calm, flicking out a jab and staying on the back foot. He's just waiting for Duhaupas to make a mistake and leave himself open. That sounds like something I say before I lose my mind because Duhaupas dropped Wilder. Duhaupas keeping his guard high and marching forward, looking to throw power shots. Long right by Wilder clips Duhaupas, who is cut on the bridge of the nose. Duhaupas is not afraid to let his hands go, and he gets Wilder cornered and throws with both hands. Hey, can't ask more. Wilder 10-9
Round 2: You know, Duhaupas has the right idea. Wilder's jab dominated round one, but what Johann is doing is what he should be doing. He's not going to outbox him because he's not a particularly good boxer, so he's trying to make a dog fight out of it. I mean, Duhaupas is not winning, but this isn't a total sham or anything. Make of that what you will. You could make a good anti-Wilder argument out of it if you want. Wilder 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Duhaupas sticking his jab in there now and starting to mark up Wilder's left eye. Wilder with a 1-2, the right bouncing off the side of Duhaupas' head. Duhaupas takes it and keeps working behind his own jab. There's another hard right from Wilder and that one may have hurt Duhaupas. Wilder throwing bombs now, crowd goes wild. Duhaupas standing his ground but getting clubbered. Wilder 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Wilder with a right and a smacking left hook. Duhaupas taking shots well, partially blocking the shots, too. And he's doing his own work. He's the guy coming forward. Still, not winning, but definitely here to fight. Wilder 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: One thing worth noting is that Wilder is looking a bit tired already. Final minute sees the two grappling in close before Wilder lands a hard right uppercut. Duhaupas continues to grapple and hold himself up. Duhaupas bleeding more from the bridge of the nose. Duhaupas surviving the remainder of this round, it appears. And to be fair doing a good job of it. Wilder 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: Wilder landing sort of slappy power punches now. Duhaupas' output has dipped pretty considerably, and Wilder is really taking over. Wild, swinging right from Wilder. He's in control of this fight now. Wilder 10-9, 60-54
Round 7: Wilder with some showmanship and a right hand and left behind it. If he'd gotten the KO there I'd have made a music video of it. Duhaupas hurt on an uppercut again. Deontay now clowning a little bit. Referee Jack Reiss seems ready to call this off if there's another big shot. More leaning and grappling to close the round. Wilder 10-9, 70-63
Round 8: Any danger of Duhaupas catching Wilder with something big has seemingly passed, as he's in total control of this fight and doing as he pleases. Duhaupas has had a lot of the fight beaten out of him. Wilder 10-9, 80-72
Round 9: If the danger has passed, so has the intrigue. Duhaupas is physically strong enough and has a good enough chin that it doesn't look like Wilder's going to get him out of here. Deontay's a little too tired to really sit down on shots the way he might want to. Deontay's coming out of this marked up on the left eye but thus far he's had his way. Wilder 10-9, 90-81
Round 10: Duhaupas digging into the reserves trying to find something big, but then Wilder showboats and catches him with a heavy shot. Wilder throwing shots to the head and body after getting hurt, and Jack Reiss takes a look when he breaks them from a clinch. Deontay throwing hooks and a right across the chin. Duhaupas is done. Wilder 10-9, 100-90
Round 11: Duhaupas is a clearly beaten man and his corner should accept reality and stop this, but they're not going to for macho reasons or whatever. Wilder has him hurt again and is leaving his feet throwing punches, so Jack Reiss steps in. Wilder TKO-11
DOMINIC BREAZEALE vs FRED KASSI
Round 1: Breazeale has a really huge height advantage and it's giving Kassi some issues early, as he looks for ways to get inside, choosing to go for his standard awkwardness. Breazeale swiping him with a few shots. Breazeale 10-9
Round 2: This isn't pretty, but Breazeale is doing some solid body work here and there especially. Kassi gets a chance to throw the uppercut inside and makes it count, Breazeale backs down. Kassi with another nice shot as he starts working around the outside and trying to draw Breazeale in close. Nice second round for the veteran. Kassi 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Breazeale really having some trouble getting a read on Kassi, and occasionally putting himself in line for Kassi's uppercuts, which are really going to be Kassi's best weapon. Breazeale tries to turn it up at the end of the round, Kassi takes a potshot well after the bell. Kassi 10-9, 29-28
Round 4: Kassi lands a couple good shots early in this round. Shooting some straight lefts to the chest and landing lefts around the side, too. Breazeale with a single long right that thuds off Kassi's dome. Breazeale again trying to make something happen. Breazeale literally bounces off the ropes to gain momentum for a roundhouse right. Decent round with some big shots from both guys. Kassi 10-9, 39-37
Round 5: Kassi still doing some solid work when they get close, and pinning Breazeale on the ropes, which is really not something Breazeale should be having happen to him. Kassi looks comfortable in there, Breazeale looks like he's looking for answers. Kassi 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Really a weird fight to look at. I could see 3-2 Breazeale even though I have it wildly different than that. I think it depends on what you see as the better work. I'll generally always favor something cleaner like what Kassi is doing in a fight like this, but calling Kassi's work "clean" would be an overstatement, too. This is a slower round but I still like what Kassi's doing more than I like what Breazeale's doing. Kassi 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: Breazeale lands a body shot, and a nice one. Straight right from Breazeale. He's taking his corner's advice and mixing in the hook more. Kassi holding his ground, by which I mean moving and making Breazeale work for any connected punch. Right hook from Kassi with Breazeale standing straight up and wide open. Kassi picking and pecking with some decent shots. Breazeale is following and waiting too much, looking for something perfect. Getting busier would help, but Kassi isn't just going to let him do that, either. Kassi 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: When Breazeale gets a chance to unleash body shots, he really does commit. Kassi slowing down this round, Breazeale taking advantage. I'm not as down on Breazeale's performance here as a lot of people seem to be. I think he's losing and obviously has flaws but I always thought that was a real possibility, too. He wins this round. Breazeale 10-9, Kassi 78-74
Round 9: Kassi trying to get more active again to start this round, probably rightly feeling he can't afford to take his foot off the gas, which he did last round. Breazeale missing a lot of shots this round, Kassi really in control in the ninth. Breazeale looks tired but to his credit is powering through it. Breazeale lands to the body with Kassi cornered, but Kassi absorbs and moves out. Breazeale with a loaded up right hand upstairs. Kassi 10-9, 88-83
Round 10: Both guys looking to give whatever they have left. Kassi looks a bit fresher, he's gone this distance before. Breazeale has not. But Dominic isn't rolling over or giving in to fatigue, either. He's throwing and coming to Kassi. A sluggish final round, Breazeale smothering himself but perhaps more importantly, smothering Kassi. That might be the real difference. Breazeale clips with a long right. Breazeale unloading toward the end, and I give him this round. Breazeale 10-9, Kassi 97-93