NEW YORK (AP) — Deontay Wilder emphatically got back into the win column Saturday night, knocking out Dominic Breazeale with an overpowering right hand in the first round to defend his heavyweight title.
Wilder hurt Breazeale with a right to the head early in their fight at Barclays Center, but the challenger had recovered from that early onslaught. But there was no coming back from the right later in the round that immediately dropped Breazeale, who was trying to get up as referee Harvey Dock counted him out at 2:17 of the round.
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) was coming off his draw against Tyson Fury in December, the first fight of his pro career that wasn’t a victory. He wanted a rematch with Fury or a unification match with fellow champion Anthony Joshua, but when those couldn’t be made settled for a mandatory defense of his WBC title.
He ended it quickly, finishing off Breazeale (20-2) after being pushed hard in each of his last two fights.