Since the immediate rematch between heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has been put on hold, Wilder has been ordered to face mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale next instead.
As reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN, the fight was already being planned as talks broke down for Wilder-Fury II, with it expected to take place May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. On Wednesday, the WBC stepping in confirming it.
“WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder shall fulfill his mandatory obligations by fighting Dominic Breazeale next,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said in a press statement. “This order constitutes the start of the free negotiations period. If no agreement is reached between the camps, the WBC shall conduct a purse offer ceremony on April 4, 2019 at the WBC offices in Mexico City, Mexico.”
The purse bid for the bout likely won’t be an issue as both fighters are linked to the Premier Boxing Champions stable.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) March 6, 2019
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), would be making his ninth title defense, against Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs). This mandatory title defense would be a battle between two former U.S. Olympians. Wilder who claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Games and Breazeale who was a 2012 Team USA super heavyweight.
Both Wilder and Fury had spoke openly about an immediate rematch that was setup for this spring, which the WBC had approved and later ordered, leaving Breazeale to wait for his chance. When it seemed that Wilder and Fury were close to finalizing a deal, the WBC on Feb. 26 ordered Breazeale to face England’s Dillian Whyte for the vacant interim belt, with the winner of the contest getting the next shot at the winner of the Wilder-Fury rematch.
Fury changed plans however by signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank to fight exclusively on ESPN platforms. Fury and Top Rank decided then Fury would fight an interim bout, possibly in June, before looking to setup a rematch with Wilder later on in the year.
The proposed fight site of the Barclays Center is no stranger to either boxer as Wilder last March won there against Luis Ortiz (who challenged Wilder to a rematch after being victorious himself at Barclays last Saturday). While Breazeale, won by knocking out Carlos Negron last December on the Charlo-Harrison card also at Barclays.