WBC World heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder returned to his devastating best on Sunday morning with a first-round knockout of mandatory challenger, Dominic Breazeale at the Barclays Centre in New York.
Wilder landed a huge right hand to stop Breazeale in his 20th first-round knockout and keep alive a potential undisputed unification showdown with three-belt champion, Anthony Joshua.
“The power is real. It’s something that I don’t have to really train for. I think it will happen (fighting Joshua). It’s going to happen. I believe in all my heart it will happen,” Wilder said shortly after the bout.
Breazeale started the bout on the front foot and tried to back up Wilder but the champion responded by landing a crunching combination.
A right hand wobbled the mandatory challenger and forced him into the corner but the Californian answered with a big right of his own to briefly send Wilder backwards.
However, the Tuscaloosa-born heavy-hitting knockout specialist set up Breazeale with a short left hook before landing a huge right to his jaw to send him clattering to the canvas.
Breazeale, nicknamed ‘Trouble’ however failed to make it to his feet in time to beat the count and referee Harvey Dock waved off the fight after just two minutes and 17 seconds.
“I think the ref stopped it a little early because I could hear him saying seven and eight, but that’s boxing. He did his job and kept us safe for our next fight. I got on my feet and had my legs under me.
“It’s the heavyweight division so there’s going to be big shots from guys with power. This was a situation where he[Wilder] landed the big right hand before I did. I thought I was going to come on in the later rounds. I’ll be back and go for the heavyweight title again,” Breazeale said.
The victory also saw the 33-year-old Wilder extend his undefeated record to 41 wins with his 40th knockout and defend his title for the ninth time.