‘Absolutely murderous’ KO shocks world
WBC champion Deontay Wilder has taken down challenger Dominic Breazeale inside one round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Heavyweight Breazeale carried a strong weight advantage into his grudge match but couldn't upset the nimble Bronze Bomber - who continued his undefeated record in his 42nd professional fight.
Breazeale tipped the scales at 255 pounds (115.77kg) on Friday, while Wilder weighed in almost 15 kegs lighter (101kg). The bombastic 33-year-old came out in a typically menacing outfit - a chain-linked mask with a matching space-age suit of armour.
From there it was curtains for Breazeale, who ate a brutal left glove before going down to Wilder's signature right.
"Everything just came out of me tonight, a lot of animosity, a lot of chaos and hatred against each other - and it just came out tonight," Wilder said after the short-lived bout.
"This is what makes boxing so great, when you can have so much inside ... there's been many of times when my body has been hurting."
The build-up to the fight was marked by a series of disturbing threats from Wilder, who proclaimed he "wanted body" on his record and praised boxing as the only sport where you can legally kill a man.
But the undefeated star admitted that was all pre-fight hype, revealing the words he spoke in the ear of his opponent after taking him down.
"I told him I love him and that I want to see him go home to his family," he said. "I know we say some things that we mean sometimes but when you get into a fight and settle your differences as men, putting your gloves up to defend yourself, this is what fighting's all about."
Wilder's weight was nearly 11 pounds heavier than his last outing, when he was held to a draw in a thrilling battle with Tyson Fury, in Los Angeles last December.
Both Wilder and Breazeale faced off without incident in Friday's weigh-in, which took place at the Long Island University Athletic Center.
Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) was the strong favourite, tipped to retain his title against the mandatory challenger Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs). He will now chase a rematch against Tyson Fury or a bout against modern-day great Anthony Joshua.
WILDER VS. BREAZEALE: MAIN CARD RESULTS
Deontay Wilder (c) def. Dominic Breazeale via first-round TKO
Gary Russell Jr. (c) def. Kiko Martinez via fifth-round TKO (doctor stoppage)
Juan Heraldez vs. Argenis Mendez - majority draw (97-93, 95-95, 95-95)