By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder will “only” give away 32 pounds in this title defense.
The WBC heavyweight champion came in at 223¼ pounds Friday for his scheduled 12-round fight Saturday night against Dominic Breazeale. The 6-feet-7 Wilder was nearly 11 pounds heavier for this fight than for his last outing – a 12-round split draw with England’s Tyson Fury on December 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 6-feet-9 Fury officially weighed 256½ pounds for that bout, 44 more than Wilder (212½).
The 6-feet-7 Breazeale got on the New York State Athletic Commission’s scale Friday at 255¼ pounds. That’s almost exactly what Breazeale weighed for his lone loss, a seventh-round, technical-knockout defeat to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Anthony Joshua in June 2016 at O2 Arena in London.
The weigh-in for Showtime’s tripleheader took place at the Long Island University Athletic Center in Brooklyn. The nine-bout card will be held at nearby Barclays Center, which was booked for another event Friday afternoon and thus unavailable for the weigh-in.
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is listed as an 8-1 favorite over Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), his mandatory challenger. The 33-year-old Breazeale, a 2012 American Olympian from Eastvale, California, has won three straight bouts by knockout since England’s Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) defeated him.
Just before Wilder and Breazeale weighed in, WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. and Kiko Martinez met their contractual obligations for the second of three fights Showtime will air.
The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, came in at 125¾ pounds. The 33-year-old Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs), a former IBF super bantamweight champion from Alicante, Spain, stepped on the NYSAC’s scale at 124½ pounds.
Earlier Friday afternoon, Juan Heraldez and Argenis Mendez made weight for the first of three fights Showtime will televise.
The 28-year-old Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, officially weighed 140½ pounds for their 10-rounder. The 32-year-old Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Yonkers, New York, weighed in at 140¾ pounds.
Showtime’s telecast is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.