Deontay Wilder: World champion to defend title against Dominic Breazeale in May

Deontay Wilder v Dominic Breazeale
Deontay Wilder will face Dominic Breazeale in New York

World heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will defend his title against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in New York on 18 May.

The Barclays Center fight was ordered by the WBC, after Briton Tyson Fury opted for an alternative bout instead of a rematch with Wilder, 33.

Breazeale, 33, has lost just one of his 21 fights - to IBF, WBO and WBA champion Anthony Joshua in 2016.

"I hold the keys in the division," said Wilder. "I will knock this fool out."

Wilder became increasingly intense at a news conference to announce the bout, making reference to an altercation with Breazeale at an Alabama hotel in February 2017.

After both had won bouts at the Legacy Arena, Breazeale claimed Wilder and his entourage attacked him and his familyexternal-link as they were attending dinner.

Wilder added: "I hope he is in a great place and trained his hardest. Every man I have faced has landed on the canvas. I have the sauce to do that. No man can get in the ring to defeat Deontay Wilder.

"It's always a great opportunity to get the mandatory matches out of the way. I consider them flies, buzzing in your ears - I'm going to smash this fly."

Wilder pointed to frustrations in negotiations with both Fury and Joshua by stating he needed "co-operation" if such super-fights are to be made.

Joshua faces American Jarrell Miller in New York on 1 June, while Fury's decision to sign a television deal with ESPN has led to him facing an as yet unnamed opponent before any rematch with Wilder takes place.

Breazeale - who has 18 knockouts from 20 wins - vowed to capitalise on his window of opportunity.

The California-born fighter says he will bring refined skills to the ring under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter, who described overcoming Wilder as a "monumental task".

Breazeale said: "I am a great fighter but there is always something to learn. I'm bringing the excitement of trouble. I will bring pressure.

"I am sick of seeing this bum walk around with his belt. People will be in their seat and rising when I knock him down."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC