WILDER SET TO DEFEND HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

Deontay Wilder

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Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder is set to fight Dominic Breazeale on Saturday night. Here’s all you need to know about the bout:

WHAT: Wilder will defend his World Boxing Council heavyweight championship against mandatory challenger Breazeale. Wilder boasts a 40-0-1 career record heading into the matchup with his only draw coming against Tyson Fury last December. Wilder has recorded a knockout in 39 of his 41 bouts. Breazeale is 20-1 and has 18 knockouts.

WHEN: The main card is set to start at 8 p.m. Wilder and Breazeale are projected to enter the ring around 10 p.m.

WHERE: The fight is taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

HOW TO WATCH: The fight can be seen on Showtime or can be live streamed on the Showtime Anytime app.

WVUA spoke with Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas prior to Saturday night’s fight. Deas gave insight into how Wilder has prepared for the fight and what boxing fans can expect during the bout:

Q: What would a Wilder win over Breazeale prove?

“A win tonight for Deontay means he takes the next step up in the public consciousness in terms of being one of the biggest, well-known athletes in the world. It’s a step forward to the biggest fight that can be made, which Deontay wants. The immediate is a ninth title defense, which I think only eight heavyweights in history have this many title defenses. Mike Tyson had nine and Lennox Lewis had nine. If he gets the win tonight, Deontay Wilder will be right there with those guys and still moving forward.”

Q: What have you seen from Breazeale’s fighting style and how have you trained with Wilder to combat it?

“Breazeale is a talented fighter, a good puncher. He’s 6-foot-7, 250 pounds and he has an Olympic pedigree just like Deontay does. We’ve got a tough fight ahead of us. I think stylistically, one could say that the prettier the fight is, the better for Deontay, the uglier the fight is, the better for Breazeale. Breazeale is going to want to hold and clinch and fight on the inside and use his hands and elbows, just in general make it kind of a sloppy affair. Deontay, of course, wants to keep it clean and crisp and land his shots from the outside and not get into any of the sloppy in-fighting type stuff. Whoever executes their game plan best will have the advantage. We certainly feel that we’ve got that handled and that Deontay is going to do a great job.”

Q: Wilder is well-known for his right hand, but what are some other parts of his fighting style that also deserve credit?

“Deontay should get a lot of credit for his right hand and his heart and will and punch, but his left hand is very good. His left hand, to be honest, is what won him the title against Stiverne. He’s also got a very good left hook as well. There’s more to Deontay than just the right hand. The footwork is a subtle thing that a lot of people never notice. The way you control your feet and manipulate spacing and positioning is very important and Deontay does a good job at that.”

Q: How high was Wilder’s motivation during the training for this fight?

“Deontay’s motivation level has been fantastic. Number one it’s a personal thing. He and Dominic Breazeale don’t like each other so there’s that. Then also Deontay wanted to get back to the basics in camp and really hone in on technique and some of those things so he was excited for that. All in all, we had every reason to have a good camp and we did.”

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