Heading into Saturday night’s title defense against Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn, NY, there was a lot of adversity surrounding WBC heavyweight beltholder Deontay Wilder. After the fallout in rematch talks between he and Tyson Fury; as well as unification talks with Anthony Joshua, Wilder was only left with the option of making a mandatory defense of his title against Breazeale. Breazeale had been waiting for over a year for the opportunity. After a melee between the two following a fight card in 2017 in which both were featured, there was much animosity between the combatants that was used to fuel the promotion of this bout. Furthermore, the WBC planned to launch an investigation on Wilder on the heels of negative statements made by Wilder earlier in the week pertaining to him wanting to catch a body inside the ring.
The two wasted very little time in bringing the action. In what is a general feel-out round in boxing, the two engaged in a flurry midway in round 1 that saw both fighters staggered by thunderous punches in the exchange. It was Wilder who landed first with a right hand that sent his opponent staggering back into the ropes. Breazeale was able to gain his senses and caught Wilder as he tried to rush in to end the show early. Breazeale landed a right hand to the side of the head of Wilder that made him resort to clinching for a moment. However, once the two combatants were separated, Wilder threw a lead jab followed by his patented right hand that Breazeale walked directly into and sent his challenger sprawling to the canvas. Breazeale was able to get up before the 10 count, but was still on shaky ground. The referee noticed Brezaeale still off balance and called for a halt to the bout.
In the post-fight interview, Wilder was asked about a unification bout between he and Anthony Joshua. Without going into time specifics, he stated that he believed the fight would happen and urged boxing fans to have patience as the two camps have held several negotiations previously that did not pan out. With the KO victory, Wilder improves his record to 41-0, 40 KOs. In undercard action, Gary Russell Jr. defeated Kiko Martinez by 5th round TKO to retain his WBC featherweight title. He called for a unification bout between himself and WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz.