By Jake Collins (@MelancholyFolly)
Anthony Joshua’s “fortress” (The 02) is booked out for the 25th of June and will see him matched up against unbeaten Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale for the IBF World Heavyweight Title. Joshua will – once again – be going in as the overwhelming favourite despite fighting his fourth unbeaten fighter in a row.
Breazeale comes into this in a similar manner to Charles Martin. Neither man will have been known amongst the more casual fans of the sport but will entice excitement owing to being unbeaten and – in Breazeale’s case – a former Olympian. He took part in the same Olympics as Joshua which will help generate interest in the fight, though it must be noted that he lost in the first round.
His record professionally is a little better than Martin’s (I refuse to count the Glazkov ‘win’). He was in an entertaining fight against Amir Mansour and the fight was stopped in the 5th due to Mansour having a broken jaw. Breazeale was put on the canvas in the third however and it must be said he didn’t exactly look levels above Mansour either.
He was also quite lacklustre against Fred Kassi (who will be meeting Hughie Fury next) too but seemed to do enough to impress the judges regardless. He’s a big guy at 6’7 and seems to at least be able to punch his own weight. His footwork is quite slow which means he isn’t exactly elusive and if Mansour can put you down, then you do wonder what Joshua will do to him.
As for Joshua, we didn’t really learn anything from the Martin fight other than that his straight right hand is an absolute bomb. Martin was really still quite unproven so it was always going to be something of a surprise if he made it a competitive fight. I feel we have seen enough of Breazeale to say that he isn’t really world level and I suspect this may end with another vicious KO for the highlight reel.
Joshua finds himself in quite a precarious situation with opponents now. For your 17th fight, Breazeale is a fine opponent. Should he be fighting for a world title though? I suspect not a single member of the audience at The 02 will care once the entrance music starts to play.by