As we come to the close of 2019, there will be a lots of debates about who was the fighter, and what was the fight of the year? However, there’s not much debate on who landed the biggest one punch KO on a big stage this past year in boxing.
The date was May 18th and the site was the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, as Deontay Wilder readied to defend his WBC Heavyweight Championship for the 10th time.
To set the scene, there were two big storylines leading into Wilder’s mandatory defense against #1 contender Dominic Brazeale.
One, Wilder had in many people’s view “escaped” with a 12 round draw the previous December against Britain’s Tyson Fury. Even though Wilder scored a dramatic 12-round knock down of the former Undisputed Champion, Fury got to his feet, finished the round and many believed had earned decision.
Instead, the judges voted one a piece for each fighter with a third one deadlocked, leaving the unanswered question of who was / is the better champ?
With that as the backdrop, and after rematch talks with Fury had fallen through, Wilder set his sights on Brezeale. He’s was fighter that had fought valiantly before being stopped in the 7th round by Unified Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua a couple of years earlier.
Further, to say that there was “bad blood” between the “Bronze Bomber” and Breazeale would be accurate. This was especially after Breazeale had reportedly punched Wilder’s younger brother during an entourage scuffle the previous year.
That led Wilder in the pre-fight publicity to openly discuss about potentially killing Breazeale with a punch in the ring, and that obviously rankled some as being classless and even, a disservice to the sport.
So, when the bell rang on that late Spring Saturday night in Brooklyn, everyone knew there was the potential for an explosive ending. And, Wilder delivered.
Boy, did he deliver.
After a couple of quick exchanges where Wilder scored and backed Breazeale up, the challenger landed a good right hand of his own. But, then, the end came quickly and thunderously for all to see.
After the referee had separated the two big men from a clinch, Wilder feigned a jab to get Breazeale to move his head and his hands and then, delivered the trademark crushing straight right to Breazeale’s jaw, photoed above.
Breazeale crumbled to the canvas, flat on his back (just like Fury six months earlier) but in this case, Breazeale would not beat the count. And, Wilder had scored yet another devastating knockout on his championship resume’.
Wilder went on in November to KO Luis Ortiz in the 7th round of their rematch. And again, it was with the one booming right hand for his 11th successful title defense.
But even that night and that right in Las Vegas a couple of months ago was not as impressive, as what the Champ did to Dominic Breazeale and in short order, too.
We remember the sensational foremost and Wilder’s right was SENSATIONAL that night in New York.