We were able to speak with Deontay Wilder trainer Mark Breland, in between preparation for Wilder vs. Breazeale on May 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He gave us his thoughts on fight night versus Dominic Breazeale, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and more.
Q: How is training camp coming together?
MB: Training camp is good. Deontay's in good shape. Right now we want to get him into boxing shape, then zero-in on some things. He's always in good shape so we don't have to spend a lot of time on conditioning which is an advantage for us.
Q: Fighters and trainers often try to take things from other fights to build on going forward. Is there anything you can take from the Fury fight and apply to the Breazeale fight?
MB: Not really. We had a plan for Deontay to go to the body versus Fury, and Deontay carried it out for the first 3 rounds very well, but after that he got away from it. The buildup for this fight was very long and Deontay had a lot of emotion built up and he wanted to come out and make a statement. He was very aggressive and it played into Fury's hands.
Q: What was his demeanor in that fight? Was he ever frustrated coming back to the corner?
MB: No, he wasn't frustrated at all. Deontay's an extremely confident fighter with a lot of heart. He may have not been able to do what he wanted to do, but his demeanor never changed. His focus never changed from the 1st to the 12th.
Q: What did Fury do that didn't let Deontay execute his game plan?
MB: Credit to Fury. He fought a great fight. He used his legs well and had a good jab. It was a fight between two of the best heavyweights in the world and put on a great show. There was a lot of hype surrounding the fight and it lived up to it.
Q: What were your first thoughts on Breazeale linking up with Virgil Hunter?
MB: No disrespect to Virgil, but Virgil can't help him. Virgil can't give him heart. Virgil's an outstanding coach but he can't do anything for Breazeale. He'll be able to keep him composed, but strategy wise he won't make a difference. It'll come down to how much punishment Breazeale can take, really.
Q: Can you give any word on the strategy? Deontay talks about going back to the basics; what does that mean?
MB: It's no secret that Deontay is at his best when he's boxing and using his jab and his length. That's basically the plan. Stab him with the jab and right hand and hooks will open up.
Q: How do you think Breazeale will fight Wilder?
MB: He'll probably try to make it a rough fight. He's a strong fighter so he has that home run chance. That's pretty much his only option, to try to catch Deontay with something big
Q: How do you think the fight will play out?
MB: I give Breazeale 2 rounds. 3 max. He's been asking and asking for this fight and he finally got it. He's been calling out Deontay after every fight and now that he's got it, he's not as outspoken as he was. He didn't even look at Deontay at the press conference. He wouldn't even acknowledge him. I think the reality has set in and he's realizing what exactly it is that's in front of him.
Q: What do you think of Anthony vs. Miller?
MB: No chance for Miller. No disrespect to Miller but I can't see any scenario in which Miller is victorious.
Q: Why do you feel so strongly Miller has no chance?
A: I feel like his opponents up to Joshua haven't been very good. Joshua is a big step up and I don't feel like his opponents have prepared him for what he's about to face in Joshua.
Q: Any last comments?
MB: May 18 will be a great show. Don't miss it.
Deontay Wilder will face Dominic Breazeale on May 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Catch the fight live on SHOWTIME at 8 p.m. CST.