Don’t blink. Deontay Wilder meets Dominic Breazeale
By Allan Cerf
Particulars: Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Barclay Center, NY, NY (Showtime) it’s WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder vs. Dominic ‘Trouble’ Breazeale. Speaking of trouble, there’s some bad blood here stemming from an exchange of words between Breazeale and Wilder at a hotel in Alabama a couple of years ago. The exchange got out of hand with death threats lobbed at each other. Wilder upped the ante a few days ago by channeling Ivan Drago from Rocky 4 by saying, “If he dies, he dies.”
C’mon man, not a good look.
Background: Deontay Wilder, perhaps the hardest striker in the world and – as hard as he hits in the ring – as friendly and engaging outside it – has a problem. One thing the shrinks say is, you can’t “fake out your face.” Deontay’s sad face at the end of 12 rounds against Fury said unmistakably: “I’ve fffin’ lost.” Well, I agree, Deontay. You lost. Poor judging saved you, but there you are.
Perhaps it was the disappointment which caused Wilder to sulk and skulk a bit and make a terrible financial decision. Disappointment that, thunderous knockdowns of The Gypsy King aside, his big limitations were exposed by Fury, who frankly, was not nearly ready to take him on. Thereafter, Deontay inexplicably turned down a $100,000,000 offer from DAZN. Where else he hopes to make this kind of dough I know not.
Maybe Fury will loan him a leprechaun?
Dominic Breazeale, Wilder’s opponent, is not a guy I’m thrilled with. He talked the talk, landed some punches in his big chance against Joshua, but mainly got smacked around and then knocked senseless. I cite deficiencies in strategy for merely competing in spurts – rather than truly believing he could defeat Joshua. Nothing will change against Wilder unless he has really studied tape, etc., and believes he can win.
Fighter’s Grades: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Deontay Wilder: Wilder: B+ A C+ A B- B B- (Average of all) B (3.2)
Dominic Breazeale B B+ C A C+ B- B- (Average of all) B (2.9)
Reality check: Wilder better look impressive in this bout. He says he enjoys boxing but is looking for “legacy” money for his family, his daughter in particular. If he sends Breazeale to Saturn, maybe he can apologize to DAZN and get that hundred million. Deontay – if you read this and do that – please mail me a check for a million. I’m not greedy.
There’s little to say about what Wilder has to do. Not come in as light as he did versus Fury, play a bit better defense (if he possibly can) and get Breazeale the hell out of there in 6 rounds or less.
Brazeale has some chances, but not many. First, luck – he can hope Wilder’s having an off night. He can also box smart and avoid standing in check hook range like Fury. Breazeale should hit hard, but break off sequences after 3-4 shots. Don’t initiate, for God’s sake, long exchanges because if he does try and swap with Wilder, he’s going to sleep. He can have success because he’s pretty quick, with a simple jab, straight right hand. Then move away. Repeat.
Fight and prediction: Brazeale seemed to be out of the heavyweight big show after A.J., so Jarrell Miller repeatedly getting nailed for PED’s abuse is a golden opportunity. Will Brazeale take this break, realize it’s probably his last and fight accordingly? I think not, but am prepared to be surprised. I see Breazeale exposing Wilder’s deficiencies with every big pop he lands. For a short while. Then I expect an inner voice will say: “Okay, I did alright, that’s enough.” Then it will be fall over and out.
Wilder KO Brazeale, 7.