After being pushed to the limit in a white-knuckle split draw with Tyson Fury less than six months ago, Wilder needed all of 137 seconds to dispense of mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in the ninth successful defense of his WBC heavyweight title, the Guardian reported.
“To be honest I didn’t even feel the punch,” Wilder said.
“Those are the scariest ones: When you don’t feel it and you just know.”
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) was on the front foot for the entire fight, establishing his ramrod jab before sending Breazeale reeling backward with a right hand midway through the round.
“I saw him slow up a little bit,” said Wilder, who landed nine of 35 punches on the night, compared to two of 10 for his opponent.
“When I hit him with the right hand the first time, his body language changed. When you’ve been in with so many guys you can recognize body language.”
Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) was able to land a cracking right hook on the champion’s jaw to briefly stem the tide, but Wilder closed the show moments later with a terrifying right cross to the jaw that sent the challenger clattering to the deck and the charitably announced crowd of 13,181 to their feet.
Breazeale appeared to beat the count as Wilder celebrated on one of the turnbuckles, but referee Harvey Dock waved it off at the 2:17 mark of the opening round.
“I think the ref stopped it a little early because I could hear him saying seven and eight, but that’s boxing,” said Breazeale, who suffered his second career defeat. His previous loss came in Anthony Joshua’s first title defense.
“He did his job and kept us safe for our next fight. I got on my feet and had my legs under me. It’s the heavyweight division so there’s going to be big shots from guys with power.”
Afterward, Wilder immediately addressed the potential super fights on hand in the newly revitalized heavyweight division, including a rematch with Fury and a four-belt unification bout with Joshua, assuring fans they were imminent.
Joshua, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles, takes his turn across the East River on June 1 when he makes his US debut against Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.
Fury, who effectively dashed any hope of an immediate replay with Wilder in February when he signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank, defends his lineal title against the unheralded Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas.
“I understand what Tyson Fury did,” Wilder said.
“When you get dropped on the canvas like that I understand you have to get yourself back together. That’s what he did. But that fight will happen. The rematch will happen. Like all these other big fights are going to happen. I know a lot of people want to know when the Joshua fight is going to happen. The great thing is all these fights are in discussion. No doors are closed. All teams, all parties who are involved are talking.”
Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel said afterward his fighter’s next opponent will be either Joshua, Fury or against Luis Ortiz in a rematch of their March 2018 slugfest, adding that he’s been in ‘close negotiations’ with DAZN chairman John Skipper.