Steven Paston Heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale has vowed to make Deontay Wilder pay for his claims that he wants to kill Breazeale in the ring.

Breazeale 'super upset' by unrepentant Wilder's barbaric claims about killing him in the ring

‘There is no way you can get behind a heavyweight champ who wants to take another man’s life or put them in a coma.’

AMERICAN HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER Dominic Breazeale has vowed to make Deontay Wilder pay for his controversial ‘body count’ comments ahead of their WBC World heavyweight title clash in Brooklyn this Saturday.

There is genuine bad blood between challenger Breazeale and champion Wilder which stems back to a February 2017 incident at the Westin hotel in Birmingham, Alabama.

Both heavyweights had scored knockouts at the nearby Legacy Arena earlier that evening before Breazeale and Wilder’s younger brother Marsellos became embroiled in a physical altercation at ringside.

Breazeale alleged that Marsellos Wilder punched him in the back of the head in full view of Breazeale’s wife and children. Deontay Wilder then arrived at the hotel and confronted Breazeale, who later filed a lawsuit against the man with whom he’ll trade leather this Saturday night.

The build-up to their bout, however, has been dominated by Wilder’s claims that he wishes to fatally injure Breazeale in the ring, which have been received with widespread condemnation from fans and fellow fighters alike.

“Anybody can go and on this particular time we have bad blood against each other,” Wilder told reporters at Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym earlier this week.

This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It’s legal. So why not use my right to do so?

The ‘Bronze Bomber’ added, among other things:

His life is on the line for this fight and I do mean his life. I’m still trying to get me a body on my record.

Fox Sports & Premier Boxing Champions Press Conference, Brooklyn, USA, 20 Dec 2018 SIPA USA / PA Images Dominic Brezeale was appalled by Wilder's remarks. SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

“I’m super upset,” Breazeale told CBS Sports’ State of Combat podcast when asked about Wilder’s remarks.

“You never want to hear an individual — and I don’t care what sport it is, but especially in the sport of boxing — who has the ability to put someone else in a bad state of mind or hurt them physically [talk like that]. I don’t think he understands what he’s saying. He’s just not all there, if that makes sense.

“Both he and I have knocked out individuals with shots where I am like, ‘Oh God, I hope he is going to be OK from this.’ But that’s just my ring gentlemanship and having a care for life.

Because of it, he is going to have to pay [on Saturday]. He was going to pay anyways and I was going to have sportsmanship behind it but now when I put this beating on him and I hurt him and punish him, I’m not going to shake this man’s hand.

“I’m not going to tell people I feel sorry for him if he’s hurt. It is what it is and he has comeuppance coming his way.

There is no way you can get behind a heavyweight champ who wants to put harm on another individual or take another man’s life or put them in a coma. That just doesn’t make any sense and that’s not the barbaric state of mind that any champion should be in.

Boxing - O2 Arena PA Archive / PA Images Breazeale in action against Anthony Joshua in his sole career defeat. PA Archive / PA Images / PA Images

Speaking to BBC Sport, Breazeale’s trainer Virgil Hunter said of Wilder: “He needs to really ask himself if that’s what I’m [he's] all about. ‘Is this the legacy I want to leave?’ I think this is something that Deontay has to deal with internally. ‘Is this the example I want to show and come to grips with it?’

I think in the long run an apology is in line. It’s the wrong way of going about promoting. I am really disappointed in Deontay. He has the world, so to speak, in his hands and he is letting it slip out and making statements like that, that makes people cringe. It’s irresponsible.

Wilder-vs-Fury-BOXING Gene Blevins Wilder is one of the most fearsome punchers in the sport today. Gene Blevins

When asked by the BBC if he had given any further consideration to his comments, Wilder himself responded:

I don’t regret nothing that I say. I am passionate about what I say and passionate about what I do. I’ve always been real. I don’t worry about being politically correct.

The Alabama native has raised the issue of potentially killing an opponent frequently in the past. During a November 2017 interview with The42 after a first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne in a fight whose build-up was again dominated by similar remarks, Wilder attempted to contextualise his comments.

“Look, I want all the fighters to go home to his children or wives or girlfriends or his side-piece, or whoever they’re going home to,” he conceded. “I do want that, truthfully, because I’m going home to my children and my family too.

“What people have to understand is that I have two different personalities.

“On the outside of the ring, I’m Deontay Wilder as I represent myself now – calm, cool, and collected. I love people, I love talking to people, I love being around people. They’re my motivation – I like to inspire people.

“But in the ring, I am The Bronze Bomber. The Bronze Bomber feel like a king. He feel like other men trying to take the food from his family’s mouths. He feel like they trying to destroy everything that he has built. And with that being said, I’m a savage. I’m a monster. I have no mercy upon my enemies.”

Boxing - Weigh In - Staples Center Lionel Hahn Wilder has frequently mentioned opponents' mortality in build-ups to his fights, but once told The42 that he always hopes both fighters can return safely to their families. Lionel Hahn

Wilder added at the time: “People got to understand that they contradict themselves as well! They don’t want to hear a fighter talk about how bad he’s going to beat an opponent – to the point of trying to kill the man – but they want to complain about how much money they’re paying to see an entertaining fight? Come on, man.

“If the fight doesn’t seem so vicious, if it’s not two guys in there like wild dogs trying to rip each other apart, they complain about that. Am I right or wrong?

“Not to mention that even if our fight isn’t exciting, we still take a huge risk even getting in the ring. The risk factor is enormous. The risk factor is that we risk our lives each and every time for the fans’ small money – to entertain them. So please excuse me if I use strong language.

“If you’re offended you shouldn’t be watching in the first place, because it’s always going to be an R-rated movie when it comes to Deontay Wilder. It ain’t no PG-13. So excuse my language.”

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