In its place is a showdown between two fighters who clearly don’t like one another. An altercation back in February of 2017 when both Wilder and Breazeale fought different opponents in Birmingham, Alabama, led to a skirmish in a hotel lobby between both camps afterward. The feud hasn’t subsided in the two years that have passed, and it all culminates this weekend when the undefeated Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) and Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) meet at Barclays Center. The only blemish between the two is Breazeale’s knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in June of 2016.
And that’s very important.
So, why is Breazeale’s KO loss and the genesis of this heated rivalry so significant, you ask?
It’s because it will have a massive bearing on how you bet this battle of titans this weekend.
Few expect Wilder to lose despite Breazeale’s physical parity. Wilder has improved immensely over the past several years against the likes of Luis Ortiz and Bermane Stiverne while Breazeale has faced mediocre opposition in Eric Molina, Carlos Negron and Izu Ugonoh since losing to Joshua. It’s the reason why Wilder is anywhere between a -833 and -1000 favorite while Breazeale sits between +475 and +645.
It’s virtually unbettable unless you are a wild man and want to roll the dice with Breazeale pulling off the upset.
Instead, you should search for a prop bet that has a better line with more value. There are two that immediately jump out: Wilder by TKO/KO (-250) and the fight going under 6.5 rounds (+110).
The first one is obvious as Wilder is going to look to make an example out of Breazeale and affirm his position as the best heavyweight in the world. Breazeale isn’t particularly fast or crafty despite having a good jab. He’ll be there to be hit and Wilder will most definitely use his long arms to find his chin at some point in the fight. The war of words has only thrown gasoline on the fire and will incentivize Wilder to polish off his foe.
Speaking of incentivized…
The second one is one that has more value and is very likely. Keeping in mind that Wilder is still trying to prove himself as the top dog among the big three at heavyweight (Wilder, Fury & Joshua), the fact that Breazeale lost to Joshua by 7th round TKO has put a bookmark on where Wilder wants to finish the fight. In his mind, getting Breazeale out of the fight faster than Joshua did will be a huge statement in the boxing world for the WBC champion. Bragging rights are the name of the game here.
On the other side of the coin, Wilder’s aggressive approach could leave himself open to getting caught with a big shot. Breazeale is no slouch, as evidenced by his 18 knockouts in 20 victories. The challenger also has a point to prove and will likely engage in an effort to stop Wilder before he can stop him. This should lead to either some furious exchanges or a vicious one shot KO inside the distance.
With the feud and the 7th round benchmark in place, the way to go will be to bet on the under of 6.5 rounds in this fight. Just about everyone will be disappointed if it goes any longer than 7 rounds so you may as well cash out on their aggression.