Breazeale is Wilder’s mandatory challenger and has been waiting for his shot at the title, even though Britain’s Dillian Whyte is actually above him in the WBC rankings. Wilder and Breazeale have a bitter history dating back to a brawl in a hotel lobby.
“I’m looking forward to fighting my mandatory,” Wilder said. “I consider the mandatories like flies, they’re always buzzing in your ear.”
“He may not get up,” he warned. “I ain’t felt this way since the Bermane [Stiverne] fight.”
Breazeale, who lost to Anthony Joshua in 2016, has linked up with new trainer Virgil Hunter. “I bring something to the fight game that everyone wants to see at heavyweight and that’s the excitement of Trouble,” Breazeale declared. “I’m sick of seeing this bum walking around with that belt.”
It moves Wilder away from a rematch with Tyson Fury. The two fought to an exciting and controversial draw in December but Fury committed himself to a long term deal with ESPN. Showtime have no intention of sharing the broadcast of a possible Wilder-Fury rematch.
It’ll also thwart hopes of seeing Wilder take on Anthony Joshua, the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion, in the near future. Joshua’s next defence is taking place in the same city, on June 1 he will fight Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York but new streaming service DAZN will broadcast Joshua’s fight. DAZN’s representatives had initiated talks with Wilder’s team. Ultimately though for this defence the WBC titlist will remain with Showtime, which has been his regular broadcaster in recent fights.
“I hold all the keys in the heavyweight division,” Wilder insisted. “I want to fight the best. I’m trying to prove to the world what I’ve been saying.”
But the wait for the heavyweight mega-fights, featuring Wilder, Fury and Joshua pitted against each other, goes on. They’re now all on different broadcasters, facing different opponents and seemingly there is little hope, in the near term at least, for any of the big three to fight one another.