By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – The last time Deontay Wilder took a fight this personally, he annihilated Bermane Stiverne in the first round of their rematch.
Wilder dropped Stiverne three times during that November 2017 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Stopping Stiverne with one second to go in the first round enabled Wilder to knock out the only opponent that had gone the distance with him at that point in his career.
Wilder envisions dominating Dominic Breazeale similarly Saturday night at Barclays Center. The WBC heavyweight champion considers Breazeale “at the bottom” of the list of opponents he has fought since he out-pointed Stiverne to win that title four years ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) discussed his fight against Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) after a workout Tuesday night at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
“He don’t belong in the ring with me,” Wilder said. “He don’t belong in the ring with no elite athlete. When he got in the ring with one athlete, he got knocked out. And he’s gonna do the same on Saturday night, but it’s gonna be in a dramatic fashion.”
Wilder referred to Breazeale’s seventh-round, technical-knockout loss to his rival, Anthony Joshua, in June 2016. England’s Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) made the first defense of his IBF heavyweight title that night, when he knocked down Breazeale twice on his way to a TKO win.
An animated Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, promised a more emphatic knockout than Joshua produced when he battles Breazeale. His fight against Breazeale, his mandatory challenger, is personal for Wilder due to an altercation they had in the lobby of a Birmingham, Alabama, hotel following their victories at nearby Legacy Arena in February 2017.
“I can’t wait,” Wilder said. “Like I said, he’s like a fly in my ear and I can’t wait. I’m gonna get him out of there and it’s gonna be in a dramatic fashion – in a fashion no one has ever seen.”
Showtime will televise Wilder-Breazeale as the main event of a tripleheader set to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.