Saturday night, in Birmingham, Alabama, Dominic Breazeale, 18-1, 16 KO’s rebounded from his first professional loss by scoring a 5th round knockout over fellow heavyweight contender Izu Ugonoh, 17-1, 14 KO’s. The clash of the heavyweight giants was on the undercard of the nationally televised Deontay Wilder-Gerald Washington WBC Heavyweight title fight.
The 6-foot-7, 263-pound Breazeale, who rallied back after being in some early trouble, dropped the 6-3, 230-pound Ugonoh twice in the fifth round. The second and final knockdown sent the unproven Polish fighter through the ropes and onto the canvas. Breazeale, who also scored a knockdown in the third, was floored himself in the fourth round.
Breazeale, who was stopped by IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last June, showed tremendous heart, rallying back in an early Fight of the Year contender. The heavyweight slugfest provided some great action, producing several knockdowns before the epic finish. Breazeale was outboxed in the first couple of rounds, but dropped Ugonoh in third, and Ugonoh getting up and continuing on was a testament to his heart and determination, too. In the fourth, Breazeale went down, and Ugonoh seemed to be back in firm control of the fight. But Breazeale regained his composure in the fifth round, putting Ugonoh down, and then finishing him off with another knockdown that sent Ugonoh out of the ropes and to the apron of the ring.
“Honestly, I just got tired,” said Ugonoh, “I gave him what I had and then I got tired. When he came back at me, I wasn’t able to keep up and finish through on my game plan. The plan was to really use my double jab, and I’m not making any excuses. This is the fight game. This was a great opportunity for me, a big step up, and I was hoping to get it done. I didn’t, but that is part of sports”.
Also, on the same undercard, Jarrett Hurd, 20-0, 14 KO’s knocked out Tony Harrison, 24-2, 20 KO’s in the 9th round to win the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight title. The 26-year old Maryland native sent Harrison down with a big right hand after hurting the Detroit-fighter several times in the later rounds.
“We wanted to take our time with him, because Harrison can box and move. But every time he fights he wears down toward the end,” Hurd said. “During the sixth round, he caught me with a good shot inside my left eye. But I managed to fight through it and get the win”.Contact the Feature Writers