Next Saturday night, May 18, live on Showtime from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Deontay Wilder returns to defend the WBC heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
Showtime’s All Access took a look at this fight, taking it back to Wilder’s December draw with Tyson Fury.
“The energy inside of the arena was electrifying,” Wilder said of the night. “It was a moment for me where I was, like, ‘I’m finally here. It’s time.’ I say I’m the best, I know I’m the best, but I wanna show everybody else what I’ve been saying all along.”
And of course he discussed that epic 12th round.
“I stayed calm, stayed composed, and I seen the shot, I seen my opening, and I got him. To see his eyes go in the back of his head, to see his neck stretch and his veins pulsing out of his neck, I felt like it was over. Magically, somehow this man got up.”
Wilder and trainer Jay Deas say they’ve taken things back to basics for this camp. “I wanna show the world other things, so I’m going back to the basics of things, and I can’t until May 18 to be able to display this on my guinea pig.”
But Breazeale, the huge underdog next week, doesn’t expect anything different from Wilder.
“Wilder was definitely exposed. I think Fury exposed him a lot. I’ve always seen in Wilder a lack of boxing skills,” Breazeale said. “To think he’s had the title for so long, it’s kind of hard to believe. I’ve seen the same mistakes and the same trend over and over again. I know for sure I’m landing leather, no questions asked. You better believe May 18th is gonna be something else.”
There’s also a personal aspect for Breazeale, referring to a Feb. 2017 incident at a hotel lobby.
“I don’t like Wilder at all,” he says. “Usually boxing is all strictly business for me, and I get into it just to get the Ws and just to get the wins. This one is more, though. We’ve got some bad blood. It’s a situation where we’ve got some things that personally happened outside of the ring. I don’t know if he really understands what he did or how he’s defending it, but any time that my wife and kids are involved, it becomes personal.”
There’s much more than boxing in the episode, too, as Wilder visits Montgomery’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and discusses the “to this day” interview from last December.