Deontay Wilder channels Ivan Drago ahead of title defense against Dominic Breazeale

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
Deontay Wilder said he doesn't care if his opponent dies in the ring. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Deontay Wilder said he doesn't care if his opponent dies in the ring. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The bad blood is spilling already. Deontay Wilder will defend his heavyweight title on Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center against Dominic Breazeale if his latest remarks — pulled directly from Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” — are any glimpse of what’s to come, there’s going to be a lot more blood.

Wilder goes into gladiator mode

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Wilder is nearly undefeated in his career at 40-0-1 with 39 knockouts. He’s coming off a draw to Tyson Fury, which he looked back on this week with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, and doesn’t intend to meet the same fate against Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs).

He had a very different fate in mind. From USA Today Sports:

“If he dies, he dies. This is boxing. This is not a gentleman’s sport. This is a gladiator’s sport. And with bad blood, we know I possess the power.

“Man, this fight, with the bad blood we got, I don’t see this fight going long,’’ Wilder said. “I’ll be surprised if this fight goes past three rounds. I don’t like this guy. I don’t have no good intentions for him. I wish the worst on him.

The initial quote is of course exactly what Ivan Drago says in “Rocky IV.” The Russian fighter shows no remorse after pummeling Apollo to what would be his death. A man of little words, though, he didn’t expound on the sentiments as Wilder did.

Wilder, Breazeale have history

It’s not the first time Wilder has made comments about death in the ring. He had similar sentiments in his conversation with Yahoo’s Iole, saying he wants to hurt the fighter and doesn’t care if the result is death.

“When you get in that ring, it’s do or die because guess what: That’s what we’re trying to do anyway. Any doctor in this world that you talk to, they’ll tell you the human head ain’t meant to be hit in the first place.”

And to USA Today Sports:

“Breazeale is an opportunist. He’s one of these guys that will waste water or ice in your establishment or business and slip on it on purpose just to sue you. That’s what type of person he is. For that reason, I got bad blood.

“And in boxing, you can be able to harm a man to the point of killing a man and get paid for it in the same night. If it happens, I’m not going to apologize. He’s been asking for this all along.’’

The bad blood between the two goes back to February 2017 when the two got into a scuffle at a Birmingham, Alabama, hotel after fighting on the same card. Wilder  told USA Today Sports that Breazeale made threatening remarks about his family, and in turn he tracked him down.

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