Less prep time, no problem.
Dominic Breazeale was originally slated to face Fred Kassi on October 13 in Shelton, Washington. But then Omar Figueroa, who was going to fight Antonio DeMarco, was injured in camp, and plans had to be changed. Instead of going to the Pacific Northwest, Breazeale and Kassi were tabbed to head to the Deep South and fill the bill alongside Saturday's Deontay Wilder vs Johann Duhaupas heavyweight title fight in Birmingham, Alabama.
So what’s a couple of weeks of missed training camp between friends?
“I like a little adversity,” said Breazeale (15-0, 14 KOs), who tipped the scales at 258 pounds at Friday's weigh-in. “Bumping things up or moving them back or whatever, I’m sure it’s affecting Fred more than it’s affecting myself. I’m always in the gym. At a moment’s notice I’m ready to go.”
At 6 feet and 222.6 pounds, Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KOs) could nominally put claim to his nickname “Big,” but it’s just that up against the 6-foot-7 Breazeale, he’s going to have a bit of a Hayden Panettiere-Wladimir Klitschko thing going on.
Against the taller Chris Arreola, Kassi managed to fare just fine, battling his way to a draw. But the 6-foot-3 Arreola only had three inches and an inch-and-a-half of reach on Kassi. It's a different story against the towering Breazeale, a former Olympian.
“I’m able to extend my jab and leave it out there and just irritate guys with it,” Breazeale said. “Once they’ve had enough of the jab, the big right hand comes down the pipe and usually the show’s over. But at the same time, being a big guy, I also fight on the inside real well. Sometimes I can be a bully. I can be in there pushing and shoving and making my guy feel bewildered.”
After breaking down Kassi’s 10-round draw against Arreola, Breazeale expects Kassi to try to find success fighting off the counterpunch. Not that Breazeale is overly concerned about that. Especially not with a seven-inch advantage in both height and reach that can neutralize even the most precise timing and the sharpest strategy.
“I know he’s going to be doing a lot of running, but I don’t think he’s been in the ring with a guy who can cut the ring off like myself,” Breazeale said. “He hasn’t fought anyone as big as me. I definitely have to respect him, but I know he’s not ready for me.”
For the full breakdown of Breazeale vs Kassi, make sure to check out our fight page.