After defeating Charles Martin on April 9, to claim the IBF Heavyweight title, Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) will make his first defense against Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) on Saturday, June 25.
The thought of a Heavyweight title fight would most likely bring connotations of two fighters who have earned their stripes, with a wealth of experience between them, to compete for the highest prize available in their division.
However, both fighters are widely seen to be still at the “prospect” stage of their careers. Regardless, this fight sees two undefeated, untested fighters clash for a portion of the Heavyweight world championship.
Read on for the complete preview and prediction for Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale.
Tale of the Tape
|Anthony Joshua||Dominic Breazeale|
|Record:||16-0, 16 KOs||17-0, 15 KOs|
|Hometown:||Watford, UK||Alhambra, California|
From a physical perspective, Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale are not miles apart. Breazeale’s height is recorded as 1½” bigger than Joshua’s, though Joshua has a miniscule reach advantage of ½”.
Weight has more of a telling contrast, with Breazeale weighing eight pounds heavier than Joshua in their previous fights. The extra weight may play in Breazeale’s favor, as a way of being able to hustle and manhandle Joshua on the inside.
As stated previously, both Joshua and Breazeale are regarded as prospective Heavyweights, so it is no surprise that they have a minute quantity of rounds to their name.
Breazeale has boxed 57 rounds, as opposed to Joshua’s 34.
Despite the lack of preeminent opposition on both fighters’ records, it can be inferred that Joshua’s power is truer than Breazeale’s. Joshua has a 100 percent knockout ratio in 16 fights, whereas Breazeale has an 84 percent knockout ratio in 17 bouts.
Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale signifies the first defense of Joshua’s IBF title, since claiming it via a second round knockout against Charles Martin on April 9.
London’s The O2 Arena, the venue of his title win, will stage his maiden defense also.
The winner of this fight will most likely have to fulfill a mandatory defense before the end of the year, or early next year. The IBF’s No. 1 contender was decided in a bout on May 21, between Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker.
Joseph Parker (19-0, 16 KOs) won by unanimous decision, in what was the toughest test of his career, and on paper, a stronger opponent than Joshua is facing on June 25.
Parker is scheduled to have an interim bout against Solomon Haumono on July 21.
Strengths for Each Man
Photo by Matchroom Boxing
What is particularly striking about Anthony Joshua is his explosiveness, namely his reflexes. A fighter who throws a lethargic, tame jab and does not retract immediately, will pay heavily by taking a sickening, counter right hand. This was exemplified in the Charles Martin fight, and sealed the win for Joshua.
Additionally, an obvious thing that complements the aforementioned counter-punches is Joshua’s power.
It has to be noted that his opposition has not been stellar, but every opponent has lost by KO or TKO. His knockout percentage may depreciate as the opposition improves, but his power is a palpable strength thus far.
Photo by Ismael Gallardo/RBRBoxing
Upon reflection, Dominic Breazeale has not shown any extraordinary attributes that stand out in his 17 fights. The only creditable accolade that can be associated with him is his heart, and his ability to overcome adversity.
Breazeale showed courage by coming back from a heavy knockdown to regroup and break the jaw of Amir Mansour in his last fight, which lead to Mansour retiring on his stool.
However, as much as his heart is a notable strength, it was a weakness (sloppy defense) that allowed him to gauge his ability to endure adversity and win the fight.
He cannot make the same mistakes against Anthony Joshua.
Weaknesses for Each Man
As stated in previous articles, it is hard to be fully sold on Anthony Joshua until he has shown he can compete proficiently for 12 rounds of a championship fight.
As much as he is dangerous in the early rounds, he has shown to be vulnerable in the second half of a fight, when Dillian Whyte took him seven rounds in December 2015.
Joshua’s legs solidified, and his work rate degraded massively, before finishing the fight by knockout.
However, his lack of rounds is attributed to his ability to finish a fight early. Though, it is expected as his level of opposition increases, he will be taken into the proverbial deep waters a lot more, and then Joshua’s ability as a 12-round fighter can be fully determined.
Dominic Breazeale, as cited in the strengths section, is defensively sloppy and careless at times. This is evident when Breazeale does not retract his left hand to his chin quick enough, after throwing a jab. Instead, he leaves it low.
Furthermore, during combinations, his punches are wild swings that leave his chin exposed. These deficiencies are enough for any decent counter-puncher to capitalize on, with dangerous consequences for Breazeale.
This should raise alarm bells for Breazeale, and makes me think, when, not if, he will lose by knockout against Anthony Joshua. Joshua only needs one slight defensive opening, and he will exploit it with his speed and power.
The Winner and Why
Similar to Anthony Joshua’s victory over Charles Martin, I see a lazy jab by Dominic Breazeale being taken advantage of by Joshua, who will be too quick, and return with a crude, debilitating counter right hand that will topple Breazeale.
There is no doubt Breazeale has heart, so I can see him getting up and beating the count. But it will be a matter of time until Joshua closes the show after landing a few more power shots, a narrative that viewers of Anthony Joshua fights are accustomed to now.
Summarizing, I see nothing but a Joshua knockout victory, within three rounds, to seal a 17th knockout in as many fights.
He is too quick, too powerful and more refined defensively and offensively. I expect another early finish for the fans inside The O2 Arena.