Hearn: Wilder fights Breazeale next
By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua’s promote Eddie Hearn says Deontay Wilder will be defending his WBC heavyweight title next against Dominic Breazeale, not Anthony Joshua. Hearn says Wilder has already been told that he’ll be defending against Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs), who defeated Eric Molina (26-5, 19 KOs) by an 9th round stoppage last Saturday night in a World Boxing Council title eliminator at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 6’7″ Breazeale fought Anthony Joshua for his IBF heavyweight title last year on June 25, and he was knocked out in the 7th round. The fight was not competitive. Breazeale has won 2 fights since that loss in beating Molina and Izuagbe Ugonoh. Wilder might have too much firepower for Breazeale to contend with.
Hearn says the Joshua-Wilder fights needs more time to be built up before the two of them face each other. Ideally, Hearn would like to wait 12 months or more for Wilder to pick up more of a name by fighting and beating Breazeale, Luis Ortiz and Dillian Whyte. Hearn thinks that if Wilder goes through those guys, the Joshua-Wilder fight will do better business on pay-per-view. If the fight happens in early 2018, Hearn says he would have to overpay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) more than the value that he brings to the Joshua fight, which isn’t much according to the promoter.
“Wilder’s [next] fight is already done,” said Hearn to Thaboxingvoice. “Dominic Breazeale [is who Wilder will fight next]. I believe he’s already been told that he’s fighting Ortiz or Breazeale next. His team knows that Joshua-Wilder fight shouldn’t happen next. They know doing the fight in February or March would probably be a waste. He can’t be saying, ‘I’m ready [to fight Joshua,’ when they know what they’re doing next,” said Hearn.
According to Wilder’s promoter Lou Dibella, they already got their mandatory challenger out of the way with Deontay’s 1st round knockout win over Bermane Stiverne last Saturday night at the Barclays Center. Stiverne WAS Wilder’s WBC mandatory and obliterated him straightaway with a beautiful 3-knockdown performance in stopping the hard-hitting 39-year-old former world champion in round 1. Dibella says Deontay doesn’t have to take another voluntary defense for a LONG time.
Hearn doesn’t say where he heard that Deontay must face Breazeale next. Unless Hearn is getting his news straight from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, it appears that he’s wrong about Wilder needing to fight Breazeale next. Dibella says Wilder doesn’t need to fight Breazeale yet, and he’s ready to make the Joshua fight now in early 2018.
Hearn does bring up a good point about the Joshua-Wilder fight needing more time to marinate. It probably does need more time for it to maximize the earnings. However, it’s risky for Hearn to push the fight down the road, considering Wilder or Joshua might get beaten before they face each other. Joshua looked beatable in his last two fights against Carlos Takam and Wladimir Klitschko. Wilder has been looking good, but who’s to say what would happen if he gets nailed by Luis Ortiz, Breazeale or Dillian Whyte with a big shot? Wilder could lose potentially.