Dominic Breazeale following his own path to top of the heavyweight division

Dominic Breazeale and Deontay Wilder share an acre-wide swath of common ground.

Dominic Breazeale and Aron Martinez

Dominic Breazeale might be fighting on the same card as Deontay Wilder on Saturday, but he doesn't see the heavyweight champion's success as a blueprint.

They both represented the United States in the Olympics—Wilder in 2008, Breazeale in 2012. They’re both undefeated heavyweights. They both stand 6-foot-7, and they were both born in 1985. And they're both fighting Saturday at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama (NBC 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).

There’s just one little difference, as Breazeale sees it.

“I think I’ve fought some more experienced, more competitive fights thus far in my career,” Dominic Breazeale says. “Deontay took a little bit of a slower route. We’re about the same age, but I’ve experienced a lot more in my 15 fights than he has in his [34] fights.”

Of course, Wilder has a championship to his name after defeating Bermane Stiverne in January, and he’s schedule to make his third title defense against Frenchman Johann Duhaupas on Saturday after Breazeale faces Fred Kassi.

Kassi is coming off a draw against Chris Arreola in July.

Assuming Wilder beats Duhaupas, he might be in line for a long-rumored showdown against fellow heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko. Though Breazeale insists that Olympic camaraderie and patriotic fervor doesn't have to translate to the pros.

“You’ve got to give [Wilder] credit for having the title right now,” Breazeale says. “But if he ends up having to fight Klitschko, I don’t think he’s getting very far. I don’t have to follow his map. I’m designing my own.”

So far, Breazeale's map has featured a lot of activity. On Saturday, he will fight for the third time this year, and that follows a 2014 campaign that saw him step into the ring five times. All but one of those contests were stoppages.

Now Breazeale is looking to cash in on that run and break through to the upper reaches of the division.

“Definitely being one of the top-tier fighters—not just in America but in the world—I think [within] the next couple of fights, I’m fighting for a world-renown belt," he says. "I’m climbing the ranks real well. I’d like to be a little more active. I like to show off my skills a little more than I do.”

For the full breakdown of Breazeale vs Kassi, make sure to check out our fight page.

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