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Dominic Breazeale defeats Eric Molina

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By Jim Dower: In a battle of former heavyweight title challengers, Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) came out on top in defeating Eric “The Drummer Boy” Molina (26-5, 19 KOs) in a World Boxing Council heavyweight title eliminator on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

(Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

Breazeale dropped Molina in round 8. Moments later, the fight was halted by Molina’s corner to save him from taking needless punishment. A round earlier, Molina had hurt Breazeale with a big right hand, but he opted not to try and finish him off.

Despite this being billed as a potential slugfest, it was more of a boxing match between two big heavyweights. Breazeale has shown chin problems in that as, as has Molina, but the two of them were able to withstand the big shots that they landed on occasion.

According to the WBC title is a title eliminator, but there’s talk that it’s not a final eliminator. As such, Breazeale, 32, may need to win one more fight in a final eliminator before he can officially become WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s mandatory challenger.

If Breazeale has to fight in a final eliminator, it will likely be against Dillian Whyte, who fancies himself already as the mandatory for Wilder, even though the WBC has failed to say that he is. It’ll be interesting to see if Whyte agrees to fight Breazeale in a final eliminator for a title shot against Wilder. My guess is Whyte will reject that idea, because he’s got a powerful promoter in Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, who can likely get him a title shot against Wilder without him needing to earn it.

Hearn has already offered Wilder $4 million to face Whyte. Some boxing fans think Hearn is trying to buy Whyte a world title like some feel he did in getting Anthony Joshua a title in beating IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin in 2015. Hearn has a good chance of getting Whyte the title shot against Wilder if he’s willing to throw enough money at him. But if Whyte has to go through Breazeale, it could be difficult for him to win that fight. The 6’7” Breazeale has a lot of size and good pop in his punches. Whyte didn’t look good beating the 6’6” Robert Helenius last Saturday night. Breazeale might have a little bit too much for him.

The win for Breazeale was his second straight victory since losing to IBF World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 25 last year. Breazeale looked a lot better tonight against the mostly reluctant Molina than he had against Joshua. However, Breazeale didn’t have to deal with the same kind of fire power against Molina compared to in his match against Joshua. That was the clear difference. Breazeale looks good when he’s not dealing with getting clobbered by guys with major power. It’ll be a different story if Breazeale winds up having to face Deontay Wilder next.


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