The Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale main event will go ahead as planned – tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. While that may be, that doesn’t preclude the WBC from looking into personal conduct leading up the fight. The sport of boxing is predicated by ring psychology. Beyond that, a certain element “myth-making” comes into play before each fight. Sometimes that calls for opponents to threaten each other’s livelihood to a certain extent, to the point of ridicule it seems.
While threatening physical violence is permissible within the sport itself, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has taken a strong exception to threats Wilder made towards his opponent. Sulaiman’s only jurisdiction is an important one: his job is to oversee the title currently wrapped around the Wilder waist, the WBC Heavyweight Championship. In several instances leading up to tonight’s contest, Wilder express a desire to “catch a body” at Breazeale’s expense. He also made allusions to his opponent’s funeral, and at one point he even elicited the word “tragedy” to describe his intentions.
“If he dies, he dies,’’ Wilder told the media on Wednesday. “This is boxing. This is not a gentleman’s sport. This is a gladiator’s sport. And with bad blood, we know I possess the power…”
“If anybody thinks this is a game, you better close your eyes,” Wilder continued. “If you’re there, bring a blindfold because this is going to be a tragedy. That’s the least I can do, I can pay for the funeral…”
In turn, Dominic Breazeale pegged himself the “Deontay Wilder’s retirement plan,” while lauding tonight’s matchup as a live event worthy of “Super Bowl” status. His comments obviously pale in comparison to the graphic Deontay Wilder. Which begs the question, how many of the pundits lashing out against Wilder know the full rundown of their beef. Breazeale and Wilder were both present at The Westin in Birmingham, Alabama, prior to a PBC fight card (2017) when things took a turn for the worse.
As they crossed paths in the main vestibule of the hotel, something went tragically amiss for Breazeale to allegedly “sucker punch” Wilder’s brother, as Deontay would have it. The rest is history. The only question is: is Wilder’s justified because of it, should he be penalized for it? Tune in tonight (Showtime, 9 pm ET). The main event promises to be quite the spectacle.
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