Joshua Big Deal, Breazeale Not So Much

Joshua Big Deal – The WBA heavyweight title fight this Saturday, June 25th between champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Dominic Breazeale is upon us. It is a battle of two big, young, undefeated heavyweights and is the kind of match many people were yearning for just a few short years ago. Now that the fight is here, however, it really is getting hype only on one side of the Atlantic pond that separates the U.K. from the U.S.A.

You see, Joshua (16-0) is the real deal coming out of Great Britain, and he has a rabid backing that goes back to his days as an amateur. Very few boxers in history get to close out their non-paying career with an Olympic gold medal, but Joshua did just that, in 2012. That the games that year were held in London meant he entered the pro ranks a household name in the U.K. He parlayed that into a world title shot in his 16th fight and for this, his first title defense, he will headline London’s massive O2 Arena again. Everyone has their detractors, but Joshua has amazing hometown support in England that has him poised to potentially be “the next big thing”. Though he may not be far along the development process, he has not faltered at any of the steps to get to where he is today. And the people love him.

Now, American Dominic Breazeale has a lot in common with Joshua, but he gets nowhere near the support of Joshua in his own country. Breazeale too has a strong amateur pedigree; he represented his country in the 2012 Olympics. His Olympic experience ended after just one match, but it does not take away the lessons learned and experience gained in the process. As a pro, he too has stayed undefeated, going 17-0. In his last outing against veteran Amir Mansour he showed some mettle, getting up off the canvas in the third round to stop Mansour after five rounds. Granted, that outing did not scream “immediate title shot” for Breazeale, but this is 2016 and the heavyweight division is in a highly developmental stage. When the call came to fight Joshua, did you expect Breazeale to turn the fight down? He stepped up to the challenge, and for that he has received almost zero support from the American boxing aficionado.

Right now, a look at the sports books lines as we enter fight week sees Joshua a massive -4000 favorite, with Breazeale coming back at +2000. In the expectation of another quick Joshua knockout, the over/under is set at 3 1/2 rounds with the “over” paying +310 and the “under” returning at -400.

Breazeale has had success at the amateur level and is taller and longer than Joshua. These slight advantages will not nullify the huge home field advantage Joshua will have. Should Breazeale win, a potential future rematch in the United States would expose the vast difference in support fighters get in the United States, as even a definitive win is unlkely to get Breazeale much respect. A win for Breazeale would be a huge upset, and it would potentially set Breazeale on the path to superstardom. That path will be harder for Breazeale even with the big upset, as the American audience simply does not support their potential stars the way they do in England.

Check out The Boxing Channel’s video preview for more details on this Saturday’s lineup from the O2 Arena.

In the U.K. the fight is set to air on SKY Box Office, SKY´s pay-per-view arm. In the United States the fight is being carried by Showtime.

Joshua Big Deal

Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

There has been nothing but non stop boxing on PBC Showtime and HBO every weekend and this weekend is no different. I find myself in boxing heaven yet again, this fight is just one of the au dorves. Breazeale is not likely to win of course, and he isn't even respected by his own hometown press but he's rarely in a boring fight. I'm sure Joshua will find him a lively stepping stone on his journey towards the big dogs of the division. It should be interesting while it lasts.


-Radam G :

Sorry, my respected author of this piece. The two novices -- no hate -- are fighting for the IBF paper title. The IBF should be out of business. But we know why it is still in effect. Holla!


-Gabrielito :

Radam nails it and I do believe we will see after the fight why Amercians don't support their fighters. Brezeale is sloppy and slow, and is digging himself a hole with his mouth that's gonna get a lot deeper when he loses. Time after time I've tuned in to watch the latest Amercian hope topple a foreign foe. Charles Martin embarrassed himself and his country, had no problem doing it.


-deepwater2 :

Put that IBF belt right in the trashcan.


-Kid Blast :

One round blow out slaughter


-brownsugar :

Very much looking forward to any fight with Anthony Joshua in it. Hope it lasts until I'm done with my pizza. At any rate I doubt my pizza gets cold during this one. By the way Minelli's makes the best pizza on the west side of Columbus ... and since neither fighter is named Klitschko or Fury I'm certain not going to lose my appetite. And unlike the recent Smith fight, I won't even look down to dunk my garlic bread until between rounds. Joshua wants Fury immediately after this fight....and Wilder wants to catch the relatively still green Joshua by early fall 2016... with all the fistic mayhem potentially in development,. ...I'd watch either of these guys fight over a bag of grippo salt and vinegar potato chips....make it happen!


-Skibbz :

Met Dominic today. Funny thing happened when Barry Hearn asked him "looking forward to getting knocked out?" - all in good humour... Seemed like a nice guy but also seemed quite edgy and shiftless. Eventually grabbed a stool and sat down for an hour before the weigh in begun. When Joshua arrived and began to mingle backstage Dominic seemed intent to stare blindly at his phone screen not willing to look up. I don't think the nerves will get to him but he's certainly not anywhere close to the confidence levels of Anthony Joshua, and physically he looked not in the best of shape compared to the roid-hulkean physique of AJ. Also Eubank Jr failed to make weight at first time of asking, about an ounce off. Ran behind stage, grabbed someones North Face jacket and did 10-15 minutes of skipping without pause. Made weight after that no problem. Martin Murray looked in good shape but his much bigger foe George Groves looked absolutely drained beyond belief. He usually looks quite pasty on weigh in day but today he was stumbling around and as soon as he was away from the cameras sat down on a stool and downed a big bottle of water before walking away. Looked incredibly miserable. Should be a good card this, plenty of fighting talent and mismatches for more knockouts. If you watch I hope you enjoy.


-Radam G :

Met Dominic today. Funny thing happened when Barry Hearn asked him "looking forward to getting knocked out?" - all in good humour... Seemed like a nice guy but also seemed quite edgy and shiftless. Eventually grabbed a stool and sat down for an hour before the weigh in begun. When Joshua arrived and began to mingle backstage Dominic seemed intent to stare blindly at his phone screen not willing to look up. I don't think the nerves will get to him but he's certainly not anywhere close to the confidence levels of Anthony Joshua, and physically he looked not in the best of shape compared to the roid-hulkean physique of AJ. Also Eubank Jr failed to make weight at first time of asking, about an ounce off. Ran behind stage, grabbed someones North Face jacket and did 10-15 minutes of skipping without pause. Made weight after that no problem. Martin Murray looked in good shape but his much bigger foe George Groves looked absolutely drained beyond belief. He usually looks quite pasty on weigh in day but today he was stumbling around and as soon as he was away from the cameras sat down on a stool and downed a big bottle of water before walking away. Looked incredibly miserable. Should be a good card this, plenty of fighting talent and mismatches for more knockouts. If you watch I hope you enjoy.
Nice reporting from "TSS's Eyes of Europe." We appreciate cha! Holla!


-Skibbz :

Nice reporting from "TSS's Eyes of Europe." We appreciate cha! Holla!
Hope you enjoy the fights RG


-oubobcat :

Most people, including myself, are expecting an early knockout in favor of Joshua. However, I will throw a few things out there for those looking for hope of a decent fight or maybe shocking upset. The month of June so far has been a month of upsets. Earlier today, Jason Sosa pulled off a surprise (about a 9-1 underdog) against Javier Fortuna. I was in Turning Stone to see John Molina pull off an equally surprising effort as an 8-1 underdog against Ruslan Provodnikov in a fight that basically nobody gave Molina a legitimate shot of winning. Heavyweight boxing has a history of upsets including those against undefeated but untested up and comers. Let's not forget just three years ago David Price was the future of the heavyweight division before running into Tony Thompson. Much like this fight, Thompson was given zero chance and the question was how early would Price get Thompson? But that night, Thompson tested the chin of Price for the first time in Price's career and Price did not pass the test. In December, Joshua was rocked badly by Dillian Whyte in the second round. Joshua showed resolve and heart in coming back but the chin looked shaky. Breazeale has a decent amateur background and has been improving as a pro. His improvement has mostly been in technique particularly how he delivers his punches. His punches, especially his right hand, have straightened out over the last year and been delivered with more force. They are no longer wide and looping as when he was first coming up in the pros. What I am saying here is though a big underdog, Breazeale has a decent punchers chance. If I were in the UK at a betting parlor, I'd lay a few bucks on Breazeale. Do I think he wins? No I do not as I stated earlier. But can I see a realistic scenario that Breazelae wins? Absolutely, this is heavyweight boxing with a big puncher and a favored fighter who has shown a shaky chin. Oliver McCall once shook up the heavyweight boxing scene with a right hand that handed Lennox Lewis his first loss in a total surprise. It has happened before in the UK.


-Radam G :

Most people, including myself, are expecting an early knockout in favor of Joshua. However, I will throw a few things out there for those looking for hope of a decent fight or maybe shocking upset. The month of June so far has been a month of upsets. Earlier today, Jason Sosa pulled off a surprise (about a 9-1 underdog) against Javier Fortuna. I was in Turning Stone to see John Molina pull off an equally surprising effort as an 8-1 underdog against Ruslan Provodnikov in a fight that basically nobody gave Molina a legitimate shot of winning. Heavyweight boxing has a history of upsets including those against undefeated but untested up and comers. Let's not forget just three years ago David Price was the future of the heavyweight division before running into Tony Thompson. Much like this fight, Thompson was given zero chance and the question was how early would Price get Thompson? But that night, Thompson tested the chin of Price for the first time in Price's career and Price did not pass the test. In December, Joshua was rocked badly by Dillian Whyte in the second round. Joshua showed resolve and heart in coming back but the chin looked shaky. Breazeale has a decent amateur background and has been improving as a pro. His improvement has mostly been in technique particularly how he delivers his punches. His punches, especially his right hand, have straightened out over the last year and been delivered with more force. They are no longer wide and looping as when he was first coming up in the pros. What I am saying here is though a big underdog, Breazeale has a decent punchers chance. If I were in the UK at a betting parlor, I'd lay a few bucks on Breazeale. Do I think he wins? No I do not as I stated earlier. But can I see a realistic scenario that Breazelae wins? Absolutely, this is heavyweight boxing with a big puncher and a favored fighter who has shown a shaky chin. Oliver McCall once shook up the heavyweight boxing scene with a right hand that handed Lennox Lewis his first loss in a total surprise. It has happened before in the UK.
Hehehe! Breazeale has minus 999 to the 666 power of even lasting one round. He is an AmerKano football player with bad knees and below average talent. Plus he started fighting in his 20s as an unnatural athlete unlike the late, great (Uncle) Kenny Norton, who was a natural athlete to the core. Holla!