By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 22nd May 2019
He doesn’t float like a butterfly, but he sure stings like a bee and Deontay Wilder could enter into the exalted company of the likes of Mohammed Ali as he defends his heavyweight title for a ninth time.
The BBC’s Mike Costello has brought up the fact that the WBC champ will sit alongside greats like the Klitschkos, Lennox Lewis and Joe Louis in a select group of men, who have won the most coveted of crowns and beaten all comers to keep hold of the green and gold belt that many times.
The Bronze Bomber fights Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn in the early hours of Sunday morning, UK time, and, barring a huge upset, will inflict a second career defeat on the former IBF champ.
Wilder is the 1/8 favourite for victory in the bout betting market, with Breazeale the 5/1 underdog and the draw available at 25/1.
Does Breazeale have the ‘smarts’ to outwit Wilder?
It was Breazeale who Anthony Joshua beat to claim his first world title, in a fight where the man nicknamed ‘Trouble’ caused Joshua very little, but did take everything AJ had until finally succumbing to a barrage in the seventh round.
He had the necessary skills to evade the worst of the stalking Brit, so can probably feel comfortable he can avoid the devastating power Wilder has used to stop every one of his opponents, apart from Tyson Fury.
Breazeale’s best chance is to keep the pressure on Wilder and make him fight on the back foot. That is where the champ is at his most uncomfortable. His footwork is unconventional to say the least and if the challenger can get him out of his rhythm, then he could make it interesting.
It could be a long one
The Californian has a good chin and is willing to take punishment to get to his man – that will probably be his undoing in the end. We saw Wilder carries power until the 12th round and stayed focused, despite being given the run-around by Fury at times in their draw in December.
Wilder’s record of 39 knockouts in 40 fights featured early finishes in his first 32 fights, but seven of the last nine have gone past the eighth round.
William Hill are top price guaranteed on round betting if you fancy picking one out, but Wilder to win in the second half of the fight (rounds 7-12) at 13/8 is appealing.