WBC Heavyweight World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder Sees Anthony Joshua-Dominic Breazeale Fight as 50-50
IBF Heavyweight Champ Joshua Defends Against Breazeale This Saturday, Live on SHOWTIME® From The O2 in London
NEW YORK(June 22, 2016) – Unbeaten WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder can’t pick a clear winner for this Saturday Anthony Joshua-Dominic Breazeale world title clash.
The undefeated IBF Heavyweight World Champion Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) will make the first defense of his title against fellow unbeaten Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) of Upland, Calif., on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® from The O2 in London, live on SHOWTIME® at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.
Just a few hours later in Primetime on CBS (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), Keith “One Time” Thurman will defend his WBA Welterweight World Title against former champ Shawn “Showtime” Porter in a welterweight blockbuster that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Wilder, who will be part of the in-studio SHOWTIME announce team covering the fight from New York City, is torn on who will triumph when Joshua makes the first defense of the world title he landed in April with a devastating second-round KO win over Charles Martin.
“I definitely see the fight as a 50-50,” said Wilder. “You’ve got two big heavyweights, and the challenger wants what the champion has, and the champion wants to keep what he has.
“It’s going to be interesting because we’ve seen Breazeale in a lot of wars. He’s almost been taken out by some of the smaller heavyweights. He’s been punched around, but he has always survived.
“We’ve seen Joshua (get) busted up as well, but he has kept his composure, and this fight is in his backyard amongst his people.
“I don’t put anything past Breazeale because he’s coming in hustlers’ territory. I think that it’ll be a good fight because of Breazeale – I think he really wants it.”
Wilder makes the fourth defense of his WBC strap on July 16 against Chris Arreola in his hometown of Alabama. The 30-year-old says that Joshua will feel like a different fighter as he goes into his first fight as world champion – but that there’s now an even bigger target on his back.
“Once you’ve got that belt, you feel like ‘I’m the man,’ ” said Wilder. “After the first fight, that’s when you really feel confident. You really feel you’re the man, you’re the champ. You’re the ruler once you’ve had your first defense.
“For Joshua, this is his first title defense, so he should feel some kind of security about himself and confidence about himself. But he’s going to find out that to continue his career and defend that title, these guys aren’t going to lay down after one punch or after two punches.
“They’re going to keep taking punches, they’re going to keep getting knocked down and they’re going to keep getting up. This is for a world title. This can bring you out of poverty, you know what I mean? For that reason, these challengers are hungry. That’s one of the things that I had to realize.
“I put myself in their position. When I was a challenger, I was hungry and I already had the mentality that ‘you’re going to really have to kill me or hurt me bad to get me out of this ring.’ So that’s the mentality that these challengers have.
“It’s going to be interesting when you have a guy with a big heart that really, really wants it and I think Breazeale really wants it. We’re going to see where his heart is. I can’t say what kind of heart he has, but we’re going to see.”
Breazeale is following compatriot Charles Martin into Joshua’s Greenwich home area. “It takes a lot of courage, will and heart to fight in someone’s backyard,” said Wilder. “It takes someone that has confidence in themselves. And not to mention going to someone else’s country, because then the environment has completely changed. It’s a big difference and not a lot of guys are willing to travel outside of their country where they would be uncomfortable.
“Only a very few that really want to build their legacy, such as myself, will travel and have no problem. I don’t like to worry about judges or nothing. You go do what you have to do. That’s just my philosophy and mentality as a champion now. When you say the Heavyweight Champion of the World, that’s why this is tough, we travel all over the world.”
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