Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Breazeale expects to fight either Wilder or Whyte, Taylor and Kelly mooted for MSG event

dominic breazeale on Deontay Wilder
Scott Hirano/Showtime
Former Anthony Joshua opponent Dominic Breazeale reckons he is going to fight either Deontay Wilder or Dillian Whyte

IF Dominic Breazeale gets his way, his next fight will involve either WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder or top contender Dillian Whyte.

The American is Wilder’s mandatory challenger, so next in line, but has also been linked in recent weeks to an interim WBC title fight against Dillian Whyte, another man ranked highly by the organisation.

“Of course I want to fight for the world title, but, at the same time, I understand the fans want to see me and Dillian Whyte fight,” Breazeale told Sky Sports. “I’m a fan-pleaser and I’m ready to fight.

“My preference would be Wilder, of course: world title shot. It’s everything I’ve been waiting for, for the last 15 months.”

The Wilder fight seemed out of Breazeale’s reach when the Alabama native was negotiating a Tyson Fury rematch. However, with news of Fury’s exclusive deal with ESPN, and the subsequent spanner that has thrown in the Wilder vs. Fury works, there is suddenly fresh optimism for Breazeale.

Asked about preparation time, Breazeale, 20-1 (18), added: “As long as they give me a good eight to 10 weeks before a fight to let me know who I’m going to fight, whether it be Dillian Whyte or Wilder, that will be ample time to prepare for an individual.

“It’s never an easy fight to make, if it’s this status. There’s a lot of politics still in the game. Who wants to fight where and when? How much is everybody getting paid? It makes for a difficult time.

“At the same time, I stay out of it. Al Haymon has done a great job of getting me this far. He’s only been good for me.

“I see it being a smooth fight, but, at the same time, if you asked me that 15 months ago, I would have told you the same thing.

“It’s been a long, drawn-out process.”

Should he end up fighting Whyte, one senses Breazeale quite likes the idea of doing so on home territory.

“I think it’s time for Dillian Whyte to come to the US and make a splash in the US market,” he said. “It would be great in Vegas, if he came over here. I think the UK fans love coming over to Vegas, enjoying some explosive fight nights, along with the US fans who travel from all over the country for a fight night.”

The last time Dominic Breazeale was seen in a British ring he succumbed to the power of Anthony Joshua inside seven rounds. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, he fancies dealing with Whyte on his patch this time around.

Dominic Breazeale

Katie Taylor’s dream of unifying all four women’s lightweight titles could be realised in Madison Square Garden, New York of all places, but only if she adds the WBO title to her collection [Taylor currently holds WBA and IBF versions) on March 15 against Brazil’s Rose Volante.

Should Taylor remain unbeaten in Philadelphia and become a three-time champion in the process, the hope is that she will then be able to secure a fight against WBC champion Delfine Persoon on June 1 in New York City.

A potential fight between Taylor and Persoon, a Belgian with a 42-1 (17) pro record, would help beef up the Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller undercard and ensure a few more Irish supporters are in the building that night. There is also talk of Sunderland’s Josh Kelly, 8-0 (6), appearing on the MSG show in a meaningful fight, BN understands.

“Katie has to get through Volante first, but we want to try and have the undisputed fight for all four lightweight belts on the AJ card,” Eddie Hearn, Taylor’s promoter, told the Irish Examiner.

“Persoon’s team want the fight to happen in Belgium, where she’s from, but I’m saying as a compromise let’s do it at Madison Square Garden.

“You used to be able to get an opponent like that for around $30,000 but now it’s several hundred thousand instead.

“But Taylor against Persoon would be the perfect fight to put on this card and we’re determined to make this happen.”

Before Taylor vs. Persoon can be green lit, either for NYC or Belgium, they must first keep their pieces of the lightweight pie intact. Taylor, 12-0 (5), must win next month in Philly and Persoon must come through a defence against American Melissa St. Vil on March 9th in Kortrijk, Belgium.


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