An alleged incident took place at the Westin Birmingham Hotel in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday night between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former heavyweight title challenger Dominic Breazeale.
The encounter happened right across the street from the Legacy Arena, where earlier in the night Wilder had come from behind to knock out Gerald Washington and Breazeale knocked out Izu Ugonoh.
During the Wilder-Washington fight, Breazeale and Wilder’s younger brother, Marsellos, reportedly got into an altercation at ringside.
At the post-fight press conference, the 31-year-old Wilder didn’t take too kindly to what had allegedly taken place.
“I’m a very respectful person,” said Wilder, a native of nearby Tuscaloosa. “And when you come to my home, you’re gonna respect me as well, too. [Breazeale] had an altercation with my little brother. You don’t mess with my little brother. If you have a problem, you come to me and we can handle it. We can deal with it accordingly. So with that, I’ve got a problem with him. And it ain’t no problem that I wanna see him [about] in the ring. So I’ll see him.”
On Sunday, Breazeale took to his Instagram account to detail what he said took place with him and Wilder at the hotel.
“First off, I want to take the time to thank God that both me and my opponent came out of the fight unharmed and safe last night. Secondly, I want to address the fact that Deontay Wilder and a mob of about 20 people unprovokedly (sic) attacked my Team and my family in the lobby last night. My coach and I were blindsided by sucker punches and my team was assaulted as well in front of my wife and kids. This cowardly act has no place in boxing and believe me will not go unpunished.”
Of course, there are two sides to the story, and Wilder had his own account of what happened.
“First and foremost, it is my honor to be the WBC heavyweight champion of the world and it was a wonderful experience defending my title in my home state of Alabama last night,” Wilder said on Instagram. “Holding this title is a privilege and one that I cherish. I know that this privilege comes with a great responsibility, not just inside the ring but also how I conduct myself outside the ring. I am disappointed that attention has been diverted away from my title defense and my conduct has come into question, it is important that I set the record straight with regards to the incident that took place in the hotel last night with Breazeale. We all know there are two sides to every story and the story the world has been told thus far is wrong. Breazeale confronted my brother in the arena and told him he would kill my entire family. There were many witnesses to this. My brother was the one provoked. I was very upset when I heard about that incident. THIS IS MY ONLY BROTHER AND I AM HIS KEEPER. I did want to confront Breazeale, man to man and face to face, but just because we are fighters doesn’t mean we always have to act with violence and my only intention was to speak with him. I’m sure many of you have seen me on many occasions and those that know me knows I don’t travel with a Big Entourage In Fact, I don’t believe in it. I was accused of having a MOP (sic) OF 20 People and that’s just ridiculous. I approached Breazeale in the lobby Alone as my Team stood back and immediately a member of his team grabbed me. My brother was punched, people close to Breazeale yelled cuss words at me, and I lost my cool. My only concern was the safety of my family and my only brother. First, I did NOT throw a punch. Second, I did NOT make a comment about Breazeale’s children. Anything else you have heard is a lie because no matter how heated or protective I may be, I’m not the kind of man to go after someone’s kids. I understand how this incident looks given that I am heavyweight champion, but I want to ensure people I did not act in the manner Breazeale has claimed and the videos are clear about that. The statements from his team were untrue and a defamation of my character. I will go to great lengths to prove that.”
BoxingScene.com reported Birmingham Police were called to break up the incident, which reportedly spilled outside the hotel.