Heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder's tough talk this week about possibly killing mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in the ring drew a rebuke from the WBC on Thursday, the same day Wilder continued the same line of discussion at their final news conference.
Wilder will make his ninth title defense against Breazeale on Saturday (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
On Tuesday, after a workout for the media, Wilder made chilling comments about the fight.
"Dominic Breazeale asked for this. I didn't seek him out. He [came for] me," Wilder said. "This isn't a gentleman's sport. We don't ask to hit each other in the face, but we do anyway. If you ask any doctor around the world, he'll tell you the head is not meant to be hit. 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 comments caught the attention of Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, whose world title Wilder holds.
"I have seen Deontay Wilder's comments, which are regrettable and completely against the spirit of our sport," Sulaiman wrote on social media. "I have known Wilder for a long time, and he is not the person he portrays in such comments. His metaphors are against the WBC code of ethics and will be addressed in a hearing."
Sulaiman gave no additional details about the hearing he mentioned and could not be reached for comment.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), 33, of Eastvale, California, have a deep animosity toward each other stemming from an incident in February 2017, when Wilder retained his title by fifth-round knockout of Gerald Washington and Breazeale knocked out Izuagbe Ugonoh in the fifth round on the undercard.
Later that night, in the lobby of the fight hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, Wilder, his younger brother Marsellos Wilder, Breazeale and their teams were involved in an altercation. Breazeale, who was with his wife and kids, alleged he was punched from behind by Marsellos. Earlier in the evening, Marsellos Wilder and Breazeale had gotten into an argument at the arena, which spilled over to the hotel later. Police were called following the hotel incident, but no arrests were made. Breazeale later filed a lawsuit against Deontay Wilder, which was dismissed a few months later.
At the final prefight news conference on Thursday at Barclays Center, Wilder continued with his violent talk.
"This has been a long time coming for me and Dominic. He asked for this, and he shall receive. Just like the Bible says -- you ask, you shall receive," Wilder said. "Come May 18 at the Barclays Center, he's going to get everything he receives. I'm gonna fade him out, baby. I can't wait. It's gonna be an amazing night for me and sad time for him.
"I want to hurt Breazeale so bad. So bad, my blood is boiling right now. I can barely keep my composure right now. But due to the fact we can't get paid outside of the ring -- there's a lot of money on the line, baby, and my family got to eat. So with that being said, I will keep my composure until that time comes. I can't wait. Come Saturday, I can do whatever I want to do. You better gather around your loved ones. You all better gather around him tonight because come Saturday night, he may not be able to talk to you. Trust me. You know I don't play no games."
Breazeale's only loss came to world titlist Anthony Joshua, who knocked him out in the seventh round in 2016. Breazeale has won three fights in a row since by knockout and brushed off Wilder's comments and gave it right back to him.
"I'm excited to be back and get another knockout win," he said at the news conference. "Getting that WBC belt is everything to me. This is my Super Bowl. Victory for me on Saturday is everything. Wilder doesn't know what he's getting himself into. He's in for a fight. He better be confident in his abilities because Saturday night, he's going to be in the toughest fight of his life. I'm going to beat Deontay so bad that he's not going to ever want to lace up the gloves again, nor is he going to be physically fit or able to lace up the gloves again.
"I've been dreaming for the last year about hearing 'and the new.' It's a beautiful thing, and I can't wait to make it come true and have my hand raised. I'm too mentally in tune to be focused on what someone says. When I go into a fight I don't worry about what my opponent can do, but about what I want to do and how I can execute. None of Deontay's words affect me at all. He's going to keep barking, and I'm just going to keep waiting. I'm going to quiet him down on Saturday night."