Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale are set to battle for the WBC heavyweight title tomorrow night on Showtime. Our genius staff, who all definitely predicted that Julian Williams would beat Jarrett Hurd last week, weigh in with their picks.
Dominic Breazeale has a really good right hand. Fundamentally, while Breazeale is hardly a Great Boxer, he is probably better than Wilder, who still makes a lot of the same mistakes that people have been guessing would be his undoing for several years. Breazeale is a confident, hard-working fighter who doesn’t back away from challenges. He’s also a guy with some real heart — I’ve seen him hurt, I’ve seen him down, and I’ve seen him get back up and fight on and win. Anthony Joshua got the better of him, but that’s it. Anyway, Wilder KO-3
This one’s sort of interesting (in a way) to predict because I want to put all the personal bullshit between Wilder and Breazeale aside and just analyze their fight dispassionately, but Wilder’s an emotional fighter so that’s likely to come into play here. Breazeale also talks a lot about his personal disdain for Wilder, but says he won’t take that stuff with him into the ring. I don’t believe him. I think fight turns into a shootout fairly quickly, with both fighters exchanging heavy blows in a blaze of glory.
That being said, Wilder undoubtedly packs a bigger wallop than Breazeale and neither fighter is all that elusive. They’re both capable of getting clipped, but the difference is Wilder’s a little more versatile and a lot more athletic than Breazeale. If he can keep from making a silly mistake early he should be able to land some heavy leather on Breazeale and take him out in the early rounds once the two start mixing it up. Wilder TKO-4
Patrick L. Stumberg
Deontay Wilder was grown in a lab to make boxing pundits look stupid. He’s a min-maxed Fight Night Champion character who spent his EXP exclusively on “Right Straight.” The man’s style is drowning in red flags and yet he just hits so goddamn hard that it doesn’t even matter. Tyson Fury spent 30+ minutes boxing his ears off and two right hands nearly undid all of it.
So what does Dominic Breazeale do against someone who can essentially erase all of his efforts in an instant?
”Breezy” is a rugged, take-one-to-give-one bruiser with an average chin and a good punch. As we saw against Anthony Joshua, though, taking one to give one doesn’t work when your “one” is a solid shot and their “one” is a war crime. Wilder can take fusillades from Luis Ortiz while Breazeale went down against Amir Mansour and Izu Ugonoh; the odds of Wilder taking Breazeale’s best shots are quite a bit higher than vice-versa. Expect Breazeale to bank a couple of early rounds through Wilder’s inactivity before crumpling from the first right hand that lands clean. Wilder KO-4
If pushed, I’d say this is my favourite of the “big three” heavyweight fights that fall over the next month — this may be a slight on Wilder, rather than the praise of Breazeale. Wilder’s looping, unpredictable attacks are certain to find Breazeale throughout this bout, but with the come-forward style of “Trouble” potentially forcing Wilder onto the back foot more than he’d like in Brooklyn, it’ll be intriguing to see how the WBC champ can negate his challenger’s bravery. Breazeale got success against Joshua when he got in close, but needs to be careful not to fall into his shots. Breazeale will be prepared to take a couple of licks in order to land one; it wouldn’t be a shock if a fight similar to Wilder-Ortiz plays out in the early exchanges. Wilder has shown he carries his power late and assuming he can outwork the challenger, a late stoppage is likely. Wilder TKO-10