A Heavyweight Grudge Match: Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale

Tonight, Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39KOs) will put his WBC heavyweight title on the line when he faces Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18KOs). It is a true grudge match that has both fights eager to cause each other damage. In fact , Deontay Wilder stated boxing is not “a gentlemen’s sport” and “if he (Breazeale) dies, he dies.”

Many are expecting fireworks for however long this fight lasts. It should be a barnburner that would surprise me if it went the distance. Now, what must each fighter do to come away with the victory? Let’s look at some keys to victory.

Keys to Victory for Deontay Wilder:

Deontay Wilder is currently the hardest puncher in boxing, and not just because he is a heavyweight. Pound-for-pound there is not another boxer in the sport that possesses the true one punch knockout power that he has. Every second of every round, he has the threat to end the punch with one single shot. So, what must he do to keep his heavyweight title?

  • Keep the fight at mid range. Wilder’s money shot is his straight right hand. It would benefit him to keep the fight at mid-range where he can get full extension on that punch. Whether he has to use the jab, or use his footwork to reset the fight in the middle of the ring, Wilder should seek to keep himself at a distance where he can walk Breazeale into the bazooka that is his straight right punch.
  • Use feints. Wilder’s straight hand is a punch that every single person in the heavyweight division wants to avoid. You can bet that Breazeale has worked all of camp to try to slip it or block it at all costs. This is where feints are key. Feinting with a straight right hand can allow open up other shots for Wilder, including right hook, left hook, or a shot to the body.
  • Be cautious at close range. Wilder has a tendency to go on full windmill mode when he hurts his opponents. Breazeale has shown in the past that he will blindly throw left and right hooks if his opponent begins to hit combos at closer range. Up to this point, it has windmill mode has worked for Wilder, but that’s bound to catch up to him at some point. Breazeale is a heavy enough hitter that if Wilder gets too careless, a blind hook from him can put him down.

Keys to Victory for Dominic Breazeale:

Dominic Breazeale will have a second change at becoming the (or one of the) heavyweight champion of the world. He is a massive guy, and will surely have a big weight advantage going into this fight. Not many are giving him a chance to actually win, but this is boxing; and more importantly, this is heavyweight boxing. One clean punch from Breazeale has the potential to hurt any man on the planet. So what must Breazeale do make cause the upset of the year ?

  • Put the pressure early and often. Breazeale does his best work when he is marching forward, and that’s exactly what he must do in this fight. Playing a mid-range distance game with Deontay is asking to get knocked out due to Wilder’s superior athleticism. Breazeale must force Deontay back and ideally against the ropes where he will be in good position to land shots.
  • Feints on feints on feints. Similar to Wilder, Breazeale must use feints if he wants to land his shots. He is at a big speed/athletic disadvantage and telegraphing or disregarding feints could lead him to getting countered often. Wilder has shown in the past that he will bite on feints, and Breazeale must feint if he wants to have success.
  • Watch the gas tank. Breazeale has shown to get tired as fights reach the later rounds, and it is crucial he watch his gas tank in this fight. Going all out from the start could put him in an extremely vulnerable position if the fight goes into the later rounds. Wilder is known to carry his power whether its the first second of the first round, or the last second of the twelfth round.


True grudge matches are always something to look forward to. There’s always that feeling that the fighters will be giving every single last bit of them in order to come away victorious. I full expect Saturday night to a be violent, and unfortunately for Breazeale, short night. Wilder is too good of an athlete to lose this fight, and there’s rumors he punches pretty hard.

Deontay Wilder wins by 5th round knockout.

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