Next Saturday night, WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) will make his second world title defence in his home state when he takes on France’s Johann “Reptile” Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KOs) in the feature bout of the evening at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. In the co-main event, 2012 US Olympian and undefeated heavyweight prospect Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (15-0, 14 KOs) will enter the ring against the crafty “Big” Fred Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight showdown that. Also being featured on the televised portion of the card, heavyweight knockout artist Charles “Missouri” Martin (21-0-1, 19 KOs) squares off against Vicente “Bufalo” Sandez (15-4, 10 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight affair. The Martin-Sandez bout will be part of the NBCSN broadcast, which begins at 11 pm ET.
Wilder says: ‘ People are finally excited again about the heavyweight division. There are a lot of young guys coming up looking to make a name for themselves, like Dominic and Charles. For the first time in a long time, an American is the heavyweight champ and the title is staying right here. For the longest time, our division was THE division in boxing and now you are seeing a resurgence of that. Fighting on network TV gives us the opportunity to showcase ourselves to such a wider audience. People in our country have been waiting for a star in the division for a very long time, and I can promise you, I am the man for the job.’
Already a superstar in his native Alabama, Wilder has seen his popularity grow exponentially since winning a piece of the heavyweight crown in January. Wilder made the first defence of his title in June in a stirring homecoming before a raucous sold-out crowd at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham. He knows that another spectacular performance on Saturday, with primetime TV exposure, will help bring back the interest of the every day sports fan to what was boxing’s most prized division.