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Dominic Breazeale scores ninth-round stoppage of Carlos Negron, calls out Deontay Wilder

Photo by Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions
Fighters Network

NEW YORK — Dominic Breazeale unleashed a right hand that sent Carlos Negron reeling into the corner, his head dangling over the second rope from the bottom.

Negron was dropped to his knees in a daze, and with spit spooling out out of his mouth, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. halted the count at 1:37 of Round 9 to end the contest Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Breazeale’s victory in the opening bout of the rebooted PBC on FOX series ensured he maintained his status as mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder. The heavyweight titleholder sat ringside, and Breazeale made sure to immediately lean over the ropes to inform Wilder he’s coming for his strap.

“I’m next in line for Deontay Wilder and I’m coming for him,” said Breazeale, a native of Glendale, California. “I’ve been waiting for him and I did what I had to do tonight. I’m ready for him now.

“He came to watch. He knows I’m next. He better be holding on to that belt really tightly, because I’m coming. ‘Trouble’ is already here.”

Wilder appears headed toward a rematch with Tyson Fury after they battled to a controversial draw earlier this month. A fight with Breazeale likely looms afterward; there’s plenty of history between the two big men.

Breazeale (20-1, 18 knockouts) and Wilder shared a card in February 2017 near the champ’s hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Later on at the fight hotel, they had to be separated following a scuffle between their camps.

Since the fracas, Wilder has gone on to defend his title three times, including a career-best victory in March (a 10th-round TKO of Luis Ortiz.) Breazeale, meanwhile, has now competed twice since then. The victory over Negron was his first ring outing in over a year (he stopped Eric Molina in Round 8 last November.)

Breazeale started slowly as usual. Negron found success with his jab, but Breazeale’s jab was effective, too. He was able to break the Puerto Rican’s guard with the lead hand as he looked to set up his powerful overhand right.

Negron (20-2, 16 KOs) landed slightly after the bell in Round 3. The 30-year-old held out his right glove to apologize, but his foe didn’t care for the gesture. He punched Negron square in the mouth. Mercante curiously opted for a warning rather than a point deduction for the egregious foul.

Breazeale slashed Negron over the bridge of the nose in Round 4; the cut trickled blood throughout the fight. And just as the bell ended, Breazeale nearly sent Negron crashing to the canvas with a right hand.

The 33-year-old was sloppy at times, but he’s a reliable action fighter; a capable competitor in a division short on them. He sits just outside The Ring’s top 10. Soon, he could have his long-awaited grudge match with Wilder.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger