Once-beaten WBC mandatory contender Breazeale and tough Puerto Rican Carlos Negron aim to steal the show in a classic big-man showdown tomorrow night on PBC on FOX.
What do you get when two strong heavyweights, both accomplished Olympians who are willing to let their hands go, fight for a potential shot at a world title?
That’s what will likely occur this Saturday, December 22, when Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) faces Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight match at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The bout will open the PBC on FOX broadcast (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) which is co-headlined by Jermall Charlo vs. Matt Korobov and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison.
Breazeale is currently the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title. His goal is to get a crack at that belt—provided he can get past Negron.
The fighter nicknamed “Trouble” has gained notoriety over the past few years for his willingness to face the best. His solitary loss came at the hands of unified world title holder Anthony Joshua in 2016, when Dominic lost by seventh-round TKO.
Despite the setback, the former football star gained new fans with his gutsy performance, particularly considering his late start to the sport of boxing. Breazeale was 23 before he set foot in a boxing gym, yet he earned a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team before turning pro later that year.
The 6-foot-seven California native has heavy hands, stopping 85% of his opponents. That is in large part due to his willingness to dial up the aggression and take risks. In February 2017, when he faced then-undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh, Breazeale was outboxed in the early rounds but made the necessary adjustments, dropping Ugonoh en route to a fifth-round knockout. Against Amir Mansour in January 2016, he was down on the scorecards when he rallied to stop him.
Breazeale’s right hand is particularly devastating when he hides it behind his ramrod left jab. However, Breazeale tends to drop his hands in the ring, leaving himself open upstairs. A more agile or speedy opponent—such as Negron—can cause problems for him.
A lot will depend on how heavy Breazeale is on fight night; his weight has fluctuated a bit over the past couple of years, and when he’s at his heaviest, he is, of course, slower with his hands and feet.
Breazeale hasn’t fought since November 2017, when he defeated Eric Molina. Still, he’s been more active than Negron, who enters the ring having fought only once since December 2016: a fourth-round TKO over Derric Rossy in June 2017.
Negron has spent much of the past 11 months training alongside top heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz. His Olympic pedigree has paid off in the pros thus far, despite the lack of activity. The win over Rossy, his most impressive to date, earned him the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title.
At 6-foot-six, Negron is only one inch shorter than Breazeale. Both men use their height and reach well, jabbing and firing in combination from the outside where they can maximize the sting of their punches. Negron is a relatively mobile fighter who likes to use the entire ring to keep his foes off balance, preventing them from setting their feet effectively. Despite often fighting on the move, Carlos sports a 76% knockout ratio, showing he knows how to set traps and throw with power even when fighting on the back foot.
Negron is also a practiced body puncher, a rare trait for such a tall fighter. He has a few bad habits, though, that could present major issues against someone of Breazeale’s caliber. Negron sometimes forgets the jab and he often squares up, which could leave him open for a right hand over the top from Breazeale. When using his feet to move around his opponent, Carlos tends to drop his lead hand, leaving his head unprotected.
Both fighters are hungry to separate themselves from the rest of the heavyweight hopefuls and attain a shot at world title glory. Breazeale and Negron are always willing to exchange, ready to close the show the moment their opponents are hurt. In heavyweight boxing, that moment can come at any time; a single well-landed punch producing fireworks to close the show.
For a closer look at Breazeale and Negron, check out our fight page.
- Dominic Breazeale