Anthony Joshua Selects Dominic Breazeale for His First Title Defense

Anthony Joshua Selects Dominic Breazeale – As a professional, Anthony Joshua has engaged in 16 fights covering only 34 rounds. Nonetheless, he is recognized as the world heavyweight champion by one of the major sanctioning bodies. And his title-winning demolition of Charles Martin showed that he is legitimate — perhaps the most talented heavyweight on the scene today — notwithstanding his inexperience. “It was a calm and composed performance that allowed his raw power to get the job done with breathtaking speed,” said the correspondent for the London Guardian. Joshua closed the show at the halfway point of the second round.

Charles Martin lived and trained in southern California. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is importing another fighter from this pod for Joshua’s first title defense, namely Alhambra, California’s Dominic Breazeale. The match, announced on April 24, will go Saturday, June 25 at the O2 Arena in London. This will be Anthony Joshua’s fifth straight fight in this building.

Breazeale has fought in London before. He’s 0-1 here, having lost to Magomed Omarov, a Russian, in the opening round of the 2012 Olympic summer games. The ultimate winner in Breazeale’s weight class was Anthony Joshua. For fans of trivia, Joshua is the fourth reigning Olympic champion to hold a heavyweight title, following in the footsteps of Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, and Leon Spinks.

Dominic Breazeale, who stands 6’6 ½” and customarily carries about 255 pounds, started boxing relatively late. His first sport was football. In 2006, he made the jump from the junior college ranks to Northern Colorado University where he made 21 starts at quarterback in his two seasons. He put up some decent numbers, completing 57.9 percent of his passes, but his team was awful. During his tenure at NCU, Breazeale was on the winning side of only two games.

As a pro, Breazeale is 17-0 with 15 knockouts, but that record is deceiving as none of his victims were household names. In his last outing, he defeated 43-year-old southpaw Amir Mansour who retired after five rounds, complaining of a broken jaw. Breazeale, who was knocked off his feet by Mansour in the third stanza, was trailing on the scorecards when the end came. Assessing his performance, Thomas Hauser wrote that Breazeale “fights like someone who’s learning to box by the numbers.”

Joshua’s selection of Breazeale drew a predictable response from countryman Tyson Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion. “AJ IS FIGHTING A TOTAL BUMCITY,” Fury tweeted. Fury’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko is slated for July 9 at Manchester.