By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
On Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, Deontay Wilder faced Dominic Breazeale for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight championship. It lasted all but 2 minutes and 10 seconds with Wilder starting fast and ending the fighting almost as quickly. Within the first minute, a Wilder right sent Breazeale reeling into the corner. Wilder effectively jabbed and even landed a hook. Breazeale did land one right hand but that did little to turn the tide.
Wilder shot out a left jab that Breazeale took a step back to avoid before Wilder threw a perfect right hand which nailed Breazeale, sending Breazeale tumbling down. The referee stopped the fight as Breazeale wobbled back to the ropes.
This was one of the most brutal right hands one has witnessed in the heavyweight division in a long time. These two minutes showed Wilder’s strength, improvement and weakness. The weakness is stepping straight back to avoid punches and the tendency to throw wild haymakers. The strength is his piston like jab and right hand. The improvement was his use of two left hooks.
The right hand is Wilder’s signature punch and it exploded on Breazeale as he did what he was supposed to do, win a big fight against a good heavyweight whose only previous loss was to Anthony Joshua by a 7th round TKO. Now it is time for Wilder to go on to fight either Joshua or a rematch with Fury.
Fury is an intriguing fight since it would be interesting to see how Wilder can adjust to the awkward Fury. Fury frustrated Wilder most of the fight with his boxing style and proved a hard man to hit consistently but when Wilder connected, he sent Fury down twice. In the twelfth round, it was a miracle that Fury actually got up, but he did and that preserved a draw. Wilder knows he can knock Fury down with his power and Fury could not match the fire power of Wilder, but Wilder could not maintain a consistent offense and the question remains, can Wilder adopt a better fight plan?
As for Joshua, this is a more problematic fight since Joshua is a technically sound fighter with power. He has the ability to stop Wilder and Wilder has the power to stop Joshua. The question is whether Wilder can hurt Joshua early and avoid major mistakes, like leaving himself open after a wild haymaker that he often throws. The two that fight fans want to see is Fury-Wilder or Joshua-Wilder. (Maybe I should add a third fight, Joshua-Fury, and they don’t have to leave the country to have this fight.)