If there wasn’t enough promotion for Deontay Wilder’s title defense on Saturday, there is certainly enough promotion now. Promoters just aren’t sure if this is the attention they wanted. During an interview with USA Today, the Alabama native delivered some apathetic comments about the health of his opponent, Dominic Breazeale, following the fight. Wilder told the publication, “If he dies, he dies.” He added, “I’ll be surprised if this fight goes past three rounds. I don’t like this guy. I don’t have no good intentions for him.” While Wilder may have a Drago like mindset and posses Drago like power, he can still lose like Drago once lost to Rocky. In order to avoid a devastating loss at the Barclays Center this weekend, he needs to follow these keys to victory.
Name: Dominic Breazeale
Record: 20-1 (18 KOs)
Notable Victories: Eric Molina, Izuagbe Ugonoh
Keys To Victory
Always Move Forward: If there is one thing Dominic Breazeale does exceptionally well, it’s back his opponents up. In fights against Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz, Wilder’s opponents were able to back him up and frustrate him at times. Specifically, Ortiz was able to his muscle and power to move Wilder in to the ropes as he piled on with punches. While Breazeale does not have the power or boxing ability of an Ortiz, he does have the will and experience to put Wilder in a position to back up instead of move forward. In order to keep Breazeale on his toes, the heavyweight champ must do what he does best, punch. If Wilder hopes to always move forward in this fight, he must make Breazeale move backward. The easiest way to accomplish this goal is for the Alabama native to throw punches and make his opponent respect his power.
Be Present: There is no reason that Wilder should lose this fight. He is the superior fighter and he has the best weapon in the ring, power. As a result, he will likely be up early in this fight and get Breazeale into trouble. However, Breazeale showed in his match with Anthony Joshua that he will not go away at the first sign of trouble. He will keep coming forward and put pressure on you even after being caught with punches. In his last fight against Tyson Fury, Wilder infamously knocked down the challenger in the 12th round. Like the rest of us, Wilder thought the fight was over. Surprisingly, Fury got up and finished the fight. Unfortunately, Wilder did not the pressure on him like we would’ve hoped after the knockdown. There are probably going to be moments in this fight when Breazeale gets knocked down and gets back up. If that happens, Wilder must avoid laying off his opponent and finish the job.
Counter Early, Counter Often: One thing that may leave the challenger vulnerable is his jab. Breazeale likes to lean forward a bit when he throws his jab. In this instance, Wilder can use his counter right hand. During his previous title shot, Anthony Joshua hit Breazeale with a number of counter right hands coming off of jab attempts. Wilder also has this tool in his tool belt and he used it effectively against Luis Ortiz. Wilder can use that same counter right hand to keep Breazeale off of him and push him back.