Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight crown against Dominic Breazeale in May following the collapse of his proposed rematch with Tyson Fury, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
Unbeaten heavyweight champion Wilder will face Breazeale on May 18 at New York’s Barclays Center after being ordered to make the defence by the WBC earlier this month.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will be making his ninth title defense against Breazeale, who has 20 victories and one defeat, including 18 knockouts.
The hard-hitting 33-year-old Wilder will start as a heavy favourite to defend his title against Breazeale, who vowed to deliver an explosive challenge to the champion.
“I want that WBC title. What I bring to the fight is excitement and consistent action,” Breazeale said. “I’m going to bring the action all night. I’m not scared to stick my nose out there and look for the big shot. I know the big shot is coming as long as I set it up the right way.
Wilder had been in negotiations for a rematch with Britain’s Fury after the two men fought an epic draw in Los Angeles last December which reignited interest in the heavyweight division.
Hopes of a swift rematch however were left in tatters when Fury signed a multi-fight deal with the ESPN network last month.
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) is nicknamed “Trouble” and that’s exactly what he has been for his opponents. The 33-year-old has a durable chin and a slugger’s mentality, throwing heavy-handed shots that have seen him score 18 knockout victories in his 21 professional fights.
Breazeale, who was born in Glendale, California and now lives in Eastvale, California, was an outstanding high school football player who played quarterback at Northern Colorado University before taking up boxing. The 6-foot-7 Breazeale was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team.
He put himself into position to challenge for the WBC world title by ripping off three straight knockout victories following the only loss in his career, a seventh-round TKO to Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title match in 2016. In December he scored a knockout victory in Brooklyn over Carlos Negron for his second-straight win at Barclays Center.