By Keith Idec
Now that Tyson Fury is headed in a different direction, Deontay Wilder has turned his attention toward another heavyweight with whom he has a score to settle.
Wilder expects negotiations to result soon in a deal for him to make a mandatory defense of his WBC title against Dominic Breazeale on May 18 at Barclays Center.
As BoxingScene.com first reported February 22, Wilder and Breazeale are expected to headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” telecast that night from Brooklyn.
Breazeale is ranked No. 2 by the WBC, yet he, not top-ranked Dillian Whyte, is the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title.
“He’s a strong possibility,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com. “That’s who I strongly want myself, anyway. It’s about that time. I can’t keep these mandatories hanging around. Although we had a great plan going on, where I was fighting the best of the division, so can’t nobody be mad at that. They wanted to see me fight the best and in 2018, that’s what Deontay did.
“I’m looking, 2019, to repeat the same. So, you know, I need to get the mandatory out the way. There’s already some bad blood against us. I’m ready to just wipe Dominic Breazeale off the planet. I can’t wait. That’s gonna be a scary fight right there, on his behalf.”
The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) wants to revisit negotiations later this year for a rematch with Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), who fought Wilder to a 12-round draw December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Wilder and England’s Fury appeared headed for an immediate rematch May 18 at Barclays Center, but Fury instead signed a multi-fight agreement with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and ESPN.
Fury is expected to make his Top Rank/ESPN debut in June or July.
The 33-year-old Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), of Eastvale, California, nearly fought Wilder two years ago in the lobby of a hotel in Birmingham, Alabama.
Their altercation was the result of Wilder’s younger brother, Marcellus, arguing with Breazeale at nearby Legacy Arena in February 2017. Their argument intensified in the lobby of a downtown hotel, where police were called to restore order and disperse the crowd.
Breazeale subsequently filed lawsuit against Wilder in April 2017, which was dismissed less than four months later.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.