Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
BROOKLYN — Dominic Breazeale became the latest victim of Deontay Wilder’s titanic right hand as the Bronze Bomber scored a thrilling first-round knockout last night at the Barclays Center.
The prefight animosity and Wilder’s statements of wanting to “kill” Breazeale upped hype amongst fans anticipating a wild shootout. Instead, Wilder’s pronounced speed advantage quickly showed why this wasn’t a contest. Breazeale was wobbled early by a cuffing right to the top of the head. Less than 30 seconds later, Wilder uncorked a straight right behind a blinding jab.
Breazeale fell flat and rose in no condition to continue.
Wilder will never be lauded for his skill, but last night’s savage display was a good reminder of how deadly he is at mid and long-range. Breazeale gave the champ too much space to operate. And when you allow Wilder enough distance to get full extension, you’re tasting the canvas.
As for those hoping this leads to AJ-Wilder, keep those prayers on hold until late 2020. Luis Ortiz being in the ring is a clear indicator he’s up next for Wilder, and Adam Kownacki turning down a late replacement slot for Joshua’s June bout indicates he’s also been promised a crack at Wilder’s WBC strap. In fact, I have more faith we’ll see Joshua-Fury before AJ-Wilder or even Fury-Wilder II.
MR. ONCE A YEAR: Russell scored the expected easy stoppage over the faded Kiko Martinez (cuts). At this point, there isn’t much to say about Russell. Despite his talent, he’s fought just once a year for the last four years and lost decisively to the only elite fighter on his resume in Vasyl Lomachenko (5 YEARS AGO).
He’s 30 years old and already let the majority of his prime slip away without meaningful fights. If he can’t get a unification bout with Leo Santa Cruz for the end of this year, a defense against Scott Quigg is acceptable. I consider his idea to move up and face Gervonta Davis to be far-fetched, but it’d be an intriguing matchup and big-seller for the DC-Maryland area.