It’s a big weekend of boxing on the horizon, folks, and the Joshua vs Breazeale card boasts plenty of potential action at the O2 Arena, London. Anthony Joshua will be making the first defense of his IBF Heavyweight title against another unbeaten American in Dominic Breazeale, and even if it looks like another sooner-rather-than-later demolition job, it’s still a significant Heavyweight event. Joshua, despite owning a piece of the Heavyweight crown, is still considered a top prospect of sorts along with Breazeale (17-0, 15 KO), but Joshua’s skill set looks the more sharp and lethal. Still, credit where it’s due, Breazeale has stepped into the lion’s den here and you’ve got to admire that.
Joshua (16-0, 16 KO) has been methodically demolishing pro fighters since 2013, with only British rival Dillian Whyte being able to take him beyond 3 rounds before getting pummeled into oblivion in the 7th. Showtime and Sky Sports can’t get enough of Joshua, and who can blame them? His gold-standard pedigree (literally, Joshua is a 2012 Gold Olympian) and devastating power make him a standout Heavyweight player, and his flawless April drumming of capable contender Charles Martin made him an international star. If you love explosive Heavyweights, my advice is that you don’t blink on Saturday night.
As for Breazeale, you have to seriously wonder about his chances here. Yes, he has some pop of his own and isn’t miles behind Joshua in terms of opposition faced, but his best shot looks to be landing something big before Joshua does. We shouldn’t write this guy off considering he basically matches Joshua for size (height, reach, weight), but this still looks to be another early night’s work for Joshua. In terms of Joshua’s career development, Breazeale isn’t actually a bad opponent at all; Breazeale has something to offer (most Heavyweights) from his utility belt, and showed commendable heart by getting off the deck en route to stopping hard-hitting Amir Mansour in January.
Joshua vs Breazeale: Fight Night Lowdown
Fight Time & TV Channel
The action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office and Showtime from 8:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET, with John Wayne Hibbert vs Andrea Scarpa slated to be the first televised bout of the evening according to Sky Sports right now.
Joshua vs Breazeale: Undercard
George Groves vs Martin Murray – 12 rounds, Super Middleweight
George Groves (23-3, 18 KO) will be locking horns with Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16 KO) in an evenly matched, potentially night-stealing scrap. The Super Middleweights have come up short on a number of times in world title encounters, and this battle of nearly men could be a classic if both men are on top form. Groves gave Carl Froch hell twice before getting stopped (2013/14), and lost a close decision to Badou Jack (Sep 2015), while Murray has lost neck-and-neck decisions to Sergio Martinez (2013) and Arthur Abraham (Nov 2015). Murray was violently broken down in eleven by Gennady Golovkin (Feb 2015), but certainly made ol’ GGG work for the win that night. All in all, Murray’s solid fundamentals and Groves’ vicious counter-punching style should add up to a rather spicy affair.
Chris Eubank Jr vs Tom Doran – 12 rounds, Middleweight
Maybe this is the mismatch a lot of people are calling it, maybe it isn’t. I’m leaning towards the latter, not because Tom Doran (17-0, 7 KO) is unbeaten, but because he’s a gritty fighter who actually has some decent skills and a harder punch than he’s given credit for. Gun to my head, Doran is probably a little oversized and will eventually fall, but he shouldn’t be written off just yet. Nick Blackwell, a durable, rugged British-level fighter with no amateur experience, almost went ten rounds with Eubank (22-1, 17 KO) recently, so I’d think a technically superior fighter like Doran should be able to ask a bunch more questions than Blackwell.
Eubank, the reigning British Middleweight champ, is aggressive and powerful, sure, but we’ve seen him eat enough counters by now to know his defense is leaky. Doran isn’t afraid to fight fire with fire on the inside, and has the power to hurt his man should Eubank believe he can win this thing by simply unloading punches in bunches. There’s still enough question marks circling Eubank’s head to make this Joshua vs Breazeale appetizer interesting, if you ask me.
Dillian Whyte vs Ivica Bacurin – 8 rounds, Heavyweight
Whyte shouldn’t have too many obstacles in his way here as he hopes to return to the win column. It’s no secret that Bacurin (24-9-1, 14 KO) is a blown up Cruiserweight, but hey, it’s still good to see Whyte (16-1, 13 KO) back in action following his valiant performance against Anthony Joshua (Dec 2015). Whyte is slick and has plenty of TNT behind his shots, and, if he takes the right route, could perhaps do some damage on the Heavyweight scene in the near future.
Connor Benn vs Lukas Radic – 4 rounds, Junior Welterweight
The son of British icon Nigel Benn will be back to plump up his near-virginal pro record when he takes on Lukas Radic. Benn (2-0, 1 KO) shouldn’t have too many problems dealing with Radic (3-6-1, 3 KO), and I believe Benn has shown enough merit in his two-fight career to warrant calling this a record-building encounter.
Best of the Rest
- Kal Yafai vs TBA – 8 rounds, Junior Bantamweight
- Anthony Ogogo vs Frane Radnic – 6 rounds, Middleweight
- Ted Cheeseman vs Danny Little – 6 rounds, Welterweight
- Felix Cash vs Yailton Neves – 4 rounds, Middleweight
Joshua vs Breazeale: Extended Tale of the Tape, Facts & Stats
Note: Advantageous stats are indicated in red (some may be subjective), and championship stats refer to ‘fully fledged world titles’ only.
Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale
Watford, England … California, US
26 … 30
6’ 6” … 6′ 7”
82″ … 82″
Orthodox … Orthodox
2013 … 2012
16 … 17
Wins / Defeats / Draws / KOs
16-0-0, 16 KO … 17-0, 15 KO
100% (16) … 88% (15)
Last 5 Fights
5-0, 5 KO … 5-0, 4 KO
Last 10 Fights
10-0, 10 KO … 10-0, 8 KO
1st Round Knockouts
5 … 2
2nd Round Knockouts
7 … 5
3rd Round Knockouts
2 … 4
4th – 6th Round Knockouts
0 … 3
Defeats by Knockout
0 … 0
0 … 1
34 … 57
0 … 0
Current Winning Streak
16 … 17
Undefeated Fighters Defeated
4 … 2
Charles Martin (KO 2) … Amir Mansour (RTD 7)
World Title Bout Experience
Wins / Defeats / Draws / KOs
1-0-0, 1 KO … NA
NA … NA
Longest Championship Reign
04/2016 – 06/2016 … NA
Major Titles Won
IBF (Heavy) … NA
Major Titles Currently Held
IBF (Heavy) … NA
Boxing Base Top 10 World Ranking
No.7 … Unranked
JOSHUA: Charles Martin (KO 2), Dillian Whyte (TKO 7), Gary Cornish (TKO 1), Kevin Johnson (TKO 2), Raphael Zumbano Love (TKO 2)
BREAZEALE: Amir Mansour (RTD 5), Fred Kassi (UD 10), Yasmany Consuegra (TKO 3), Victor Bisbal (TKO 4)
What’s your take on Boxing Base’s Joshua vs Breazeale Preview, Tale of the Tape, Facts & Stats? And how do you see the action playing out at the weekend? We’ll have Live Coverage here on Boxing Base, plus Round by Round Coverage via @BoxingBase on Twitter.