For more than a year, Dominic Breazeale had been waiting for an opportunity to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and now that he has his title shot, he is more than ready for the challenge.
Breazeale won a title eliminator against Eric Molina back in November 2017, but since then, his career has been at somewhat of a standstill. Breazeale was waiting in the sidelines to see how the division shaped up, particularly in regards to a highly-anticipated fight between Wilder and unified Anthony Joshua that never happened.
As such, Breazeale spent most of 2018 not fighting at all. It wasn't until late December when Breazeale fought for the first time since that November 2017 and fought a very game Carlos Negron in Brooklyn. Breazeale and Negron had a fairly competitive fight on Fox, but Breazeale took over late in the fight and scored a vicious right hand to knock out Negron. In a recent media conference call, Breazeale told Fightful the fight against Negron was just what he needed to shake off the ring rust.
“Anytime you have a little bit of layoff, a little bit of ring rust you don't want that of course but I was glad I was able to do it December 22 against Carlos Negron. I'm happy to be getting in the ring as soon as I am now for the WBC title shot. There wasn't a long layoff between me in the ring December 22, taking a couple of days off for Christmas and New Years and getting right back in the gym in January.So I think like I said earlier, I've had a great camp. I've had a lot less layoff than in the past and all cylinders are firing,” Breazeale said.
As mentioned, Breazeale had been the mandatory challenger to Wilder's world title for some time, but admitted the long wait to get the opportunity to fight for a title has been a challenge to him. Initially, he thought he would have to wait somewhere between six and seven months before he got the fight against Wilder.
But even after Wilder defeated Luis Ortiz in March 2018, the feeling around boxing was that Wilder could still face Joshua later that year, but once that fight appeared to be thrown out the window, Wilder then moved on to a fight against Tyson Fury last December.
With a rematch between Wilder and Fury being one that many believed would happen next, Breazeale could have potentially waited even longer to get his title opportunity. Fortunately for Breazeale, everything lined up for him and now Breazeale is days away from a main event fight against Wilder for a world heavyweight title. Despite him being happy to get the opportunity, Breazeale told Fightful that it was hard for him to remain idle until getting that title shot.
"It was definitely tough. I won the WBC title eliminator against Eric Molina and then to be told that it's going to be sometime, six months, seven months which turned into I think almost about a year. That was very tough because I'm one of the guys who stayed in the gym. I'm sparing every other day or sparing once a week. I'm always in the gym and I'm always working. Sometimes that can take a toll on you. But fortunately in my favor it worked out great. I got another fight against Carlos Negron and attended the WBC mandatory and here a year and a half later getting ready to fight for a world title. In a sense, it kept me motivated. It kept me working," Breazeale said.
The fight between Wilder and Breazeale will headline a Showtime-televised card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on May 18. Fightful will have live coverage of the entire card. You can listen to Breazeale talking to Fightful in the video at the top of the page.