Since his impressive Nov. 2017 win over former world title contender Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina to become the mandatory title challenger for WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder, Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale has been back in the boxing gym training to face the “Bronze Bomber” and accomplish his goal of becoming a heavyweight world champion.
Now, almost a year later, the only fighting between Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) has been exclusively verbal and indirectly via social media or media interviews. Breazeale has been persistent in calling out Wilder in every interview, making social media posts demanding a title shot, and even starting a hashtag, “F*ck Wilder Wednesday.”
Earlier this week in a phone call with FightHype.com, Wilder addressed the situation with Breazeale. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4XGBYDdjeU)
“When it happens, I’m gonna make sure he brings his son on stage to look the man in the eye that’s gonna cripple his daddy.”
Even Wilder fans agreed his comments were immensely insensitive, but it’s not the first time Wilder says something that stirs up mixed reactions amongst boxing fans. At the beginning of the year, Wilder expressed interest in wanting to “catch a body” on his record.
Brezeale took to Instagram to respond to Wilder’s comments and throw insults of his own.
The beef between the two goes far back; however, animosity climaxed in a physical altercation at a hotel lobby between Wilder’s entourage and Breazeale following his 2017s “Round of the Year” winner bout against Izuagbe “Izu” Ugonoh. According to Breazeale, Wilder’s team became infuriated when they noticed him cheering for Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, as he faced Wilder in the ring that same night.
As Breazeale exited the hotel elevator on the way to dinner with his family, Breazeale said Wilder rushed him with about 25 people behind him. After being pushed to the floor, Breazeale was punched in the back of the head by Wilder’s brother, who immediately ran away. Though Breazeale was relieved someone grabbed his kids and took them to safety during the brawl, he finds it shameful a champion like Wilder would rush him in front of his family.
“I think it’s been one of the bigger, better things that have happened to me,” Breazeale told Xicana Boxing. “I shouldn’t say it like that because it was very disrespectful to my wife and my kids; but as far as training goes, its what gets me up in the morning to go for a run, its what’s bringing me to the gym when I don’t have a fight scheduled yet. It’s given me that extra drive, that extra encouragement, which is exactly what I need at this point in my career because I know I’ll be fighting for one of the biggest fights ever in my life.”
Since becoming mandatory, it seems as Wilder doesn’t even entertain the idea of defending his title against Breazeale. Instead, boxing fans have witnessed the WBC heavyweight champion pursue a unification mega-fight with British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who handed Brezeale his first and only loss in June 2016.
As most fans know, Wilder and Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) fell off because of negotiation issues as well as the IBF mandating Joshua to defend his title against Alexander Povetkin. Regardless of Joshua leaving Wilder hanging, the phone still didn’t ring for Breazeale.
“We don’t know what’s going on at this point,” said Edgar “Estrellita” Jasso who is part of Breazeale’s corner. “he’s bee waiting for that phone call, but it just doesn’t come.”
Shrugging off his WBC mandatory once again, Wilder entered a negotiation stage with former lineal heavyweight champion Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury, who was inactive for over two years, suspended for testing positive for banned substances after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
Following his comeback win against Sefer Seferi (23-2, 21 KOs), Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) posted an “apology” video for Wilder on behalf of his countrymen for stringing him off and offered him a fight after his second tune-up fight with Francesco Pianieta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) scheduled for this upcoming Saturday.
According to Showtime, though the fight hasn’t yet been finalized, the fight is “very very close.”
So where does that leave Breazeale? He trains every day at Legendz Boxing Gym in Norwalk, Ca. waiting for a well-deserved title shot. Waiting for the phone to ring. After involving their kids in their verbal exchanges, the bad blood between the two heavyweights has intensified and fans can only imagine for now the toe-to-toe style fight that would happen if Wilder indeed sent the contact to Breazeale.
As persistent as Breazeale has remained, most fans agree to be more interested to see Wilder against Fury or Joshua. Fighting bigger names also assures Wilder a much bigger payday as well as a possible pay-per-view opportunity. Meanwhile, a title defense against a contender like Breazeale may not draw the biggest crowd or sell out an arena.
Wilder is not to be blamed for choosing the more rewarding fight, beating Fury would generate more prestige for him in the heavyweight division, as well as possibly get him a step closer to Joshua.
One can arguably point fingers at the sanctioning bodies, however. The WBC has a reputation for often letting their world champions avoid their mandatories, as has always been the case for WBC light heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson. Currently, Wilder feels no urgency to fight Breazeale and has no fear of being stripped of his belt. The IBF also mandated Joshua to defend his title against Povetkin or be stripped, which is questionable knowing Joshua and Eddie Hearn were undergoing negotiations with Wilder at the time.
It seems unlikely the WBC will urge Wilder to face his mandatory any time soon, therefore, Breazeale must surely move on to another fight in order to remain active and avoid ring rust. If and when Wilder vs. Breazeale happens, fans are guaranteed a bloody heavyweight slugfest that is for sure to end in a knockout.
Below is an interview Breazeale did for Xicana Boxing in May.