Dominic Breazeale frontrunner for Deontay Wilder fight
By Jim Dower: Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) is the frontrunner to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) in his next title defense, according to Dan Rafael. The 32-year-old Breazeale has been talked about for a while now as the next opponent for Wilder, but thus far the fight still hasn’t been put together.
Breazeale was recently involved in an exciting war against Izuagbe Ugonoh (18-1, 15 KOs) in stopping him in the 5th round last year on February 25. That fight was a real shootout with both guys going down. Ugonoh was knocked down once in round 3 and two more times in round 5. Breazeale was dropped in the 4th and almost knocked out. Breazeale looked a lot better in his last fight in stopping two time former heavyweight world title challenger Eric Molina in the 8th round last November.
Wilder, 32, doesn’t have a lot of options for his next fight unless he wants to sit outside of the ring and wait until April 13 of next year for him to fight IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua. However, Wilder can’t sit for over a year without defending his title or else the World Boxing Council will step in and strip him of his WBC title. Without the belt, Wilder loses much of the appeal that he has for Joshua, who wants to capture his WBC title in order to unify the heavyweight division with all four titles in his possession.
There aren’t many options for Wilder now that Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller has signed with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. Miller, 29, is going to likely be protected until he gets a crack at a world title against heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. #3 WBC Alexander Povetkin will be challenging Joshua on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Povetkin, 38, would be an ideal opponent for Wilder to defend his WBC title against if he wasn’t already scheduled to face Joshua. The WBC’s top 15 rankings are as follows:
1. Dillian Whyte
2. Dominic Breazeale
3. Alexander Povetkin
4. Luis Ortiz
5. Tony Bellew
6. Joseph Parker
7. Tyson Fury
8. Charles Martin
9. Adam Kownacki
10. Agit Kabayel
11. Dereck Chisora
12. Hughie Fury
13. Oscar Rivas
14. Carlos Takam
15. Bermane Stiverne
If Wilder is willing to take a risky fight for his next title defense, then Breazeale would be perfect for him. It’s a fight that would likely bring in good ratings on Showtime boxing, as Breazeale has been televised many times on PBC in the past. The casual boxing fans are well familiar with the 2008 U.S super heavyweight Olymian Breazeale, and they’d likely be moire than a little interested in seeing a fight between him and Wilder. But as far as the other fighters ago, Wilder would do well if he could get someone like Hughie Fury, Carlos Takam, Dereck Chisora, Adam Kownacki or Charles Martin. Any one of those fighters would be perfect for Wilder.
WBO orders Maurice Hooker to defend against Alex Saucedo
The World Boxing Organization has ordered WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KO) to defend against his mandatory challenge Alex Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs). The fight negotiations must be completed in the next three weeks or else a purse bid will be ordered.
Hooker, 28, recently signed with Matchroom Boxing for them to have him fight on their DAZN streaming service in the U.S. Matchroom will need to negotiate with Saucedo’s promoters at Top Rank. Saucedo defeated Leonard Zappavigna by an exciting 7th round knockout on June 30 in a WBO 140-pound title eliminator for him to earn the title shot against Hooker. It was a fun fight to watch between Saucedo and Zappavigna, as both guys were hurt during the contest. Saucedo was almost knocked out in the third round after taking a heavy bombardment from Zappavigna.
Saucedo and Hooker have both been criticized for failing to enter the World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament. As bad as Hooker and Saucedo looked in their last fights, they would be at great risk of losing in the quarterfinals. Hooker looked average in beating former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan by a 12 round split decision on June 9 in their fight for the vacant WBO 140-pound title. Hooker outdid the 29-year-old Flanagan to win the vacant WBO title, but he didn’t shine in the fight. He looked poor. For his part, Saucedo looked horrible in beating the 30-year-old Zappavigna. This is an opponent that he Saucedo should have been able to beat with ease if he had any talent at all, but he really struggled.
Top Rank is interested in matching Saucedo against WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez in a unification fight. That would require that Saucedo beats Hooker. At this point it’s unclear if Saucedo can win that fight. Hooker has a lot of size, reach and punching power. Hooker is a big step up from Zappavigna, who came close to knocking out Saucedo. Hooker could beat Saucedo and ruin Top Rank’s unification dream of matching him against Ramirez.