Deontay Wilder’s journey to become the heavyweight division’s top star took a detour from a planned rematch against Tyson Fury and instead have him face mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.

Wilder will look to make history and join an exclusive club of heavyweight greats to have defended a world heavyweight title at least nine times in a single title reign. The other heavyweights to do that: Tommy Burns, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko.

History is not only on the line for Wilder, but also an opportunity to have him prove to the world once again that he is the premier heavyweight in boxing today after his December fight against Fury ended in a draw.

Meanwhile, Breazeale has been on the hunt for a world title shot after his first attempt went up in smoke after getting stopped by Anthony Joshua in 2016. Since then, Breazeale has been knocking out opponents left and right, winning all three bouts from inside the distance.

But the journey back to title contention has not been a short one. After winning a title eliminator against Eric Molina, Breazeale had to wait 13 months before getting his next fight, most of which came from waiting to see if he will get an opportunity to fight Wilder as the mandatory challenger.

It took a chain of events that ultimately resulted in the rematch between Wilder and Fury not happening for Breazeale to be given the chance to fight for a world title. Although the fight between the two is not the one most boxing fans were expecting, the fight promises to be an exciting, action-packed brawl.

Both fighters are strong punchers with incredibly high knockout ratios who press the action forward. The last time Wilder was in a fight with a similar type of opponent, Luis Ortiz back in March 2018, he provided fans with one of the more memorable heavyweight fights of the year. With the right type of opponent, Wilder has proven that he can provide must-see fights on television.

The fight headlines a Showtime Championship Boxing card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on May 18. The rest of the card will feature a second world title fight, Gary Russell Jr. vs. Kiko Martinez for the WBC featherweight title, and a fight between undefeated prospect Juan Heraldez and former world champion Argenis Mendez.

Below is the full card that will be televised on Showtime:

  • Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale: WBC heavyweight title
  • Gary Russell Jr. vs. Kiko Martinez: WBC featherweight title
  • Juan Heraldez vs. Argenis Mendez

Tale of the Tape:

Deontay Wilder:

  • Record: 40-0-1 (39 KO)
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Reach: 83”
  • Notable Fights: Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz
  • Titles Won: WBC World Heavyweight title

Dominic Breazeale:

  • Record: 20-1 (18 KO)
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Reach: 81.5”
  • Notable Fights: Anthony Joshua
  • Titles Won: WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title

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