IBF Heavy Champ Anthony Joshua, 16-0, 16 KO, ever more looking to be a modern day Hercules cleaning out Al Haymon‘s stable of heavyweights, defends against Dominic Breazeale, 17-0, 15 KO, at the O2 Arena (Millenium Dome), Greenwich, London, Saturday, June 25.
The USurper Breazeale wants us to know that he’s no Charles Martin, the soft Haymon heavyweight that Joshua blew out in two rounds two months ago. Well, bully good for Breazeale to step up for this title shot, however in his last fight where he did indeed step up for the first time against a 43 year old southpaw fringe contender, Amir Mansour, it is exceedingly rare to see a fighter so greatly outclassed as was Breazeale. Mansour swept the first five rounds on the judges’ scorecards by 50-44, 50-44, 50-44, even knocking down Breazeale in the third round for a 10-8 round.
Mansour, however, was so sick with the flu before the fight that he could barely breathe, so his trainers gave him a mouthpiece fitted for his upper teeth only. That contributed to what proved to be a disastrous injury when he almost bit tongue in half during the 2nd round when Breazeale caught him. It remains a mystery how the partial mouthpiece was even allowed by the California State Athletic Commision other than to note these are the same knucklenoggins who approved Antonio Margarito handwraps that turned out to be loaded with a few plaster crumbles in an insert. Nobody in these commissions is ever publicly reprimanded for these rules violations that they are supposed to be screening for, which begs the question, why are they even there if all they are is empty suits?
As the fight finally played out, Mansour had to retire on his stool after gulping a quart of his blood. He was rushed off to the hospital to undergo five hours of surgery requiring 36 stitches to sew everything together. Amazing the amount of heart he showed under such painfully debilitating conditions to dominate for as long as he did.
So while we have to credit the 30 year old Breazeale for enduring such a terrible beatdown, and he did come up with some big punches that hastened the end over his wounded prey, as far as demonstrable skill levels goes as to what normally constitutes a contender, he miserably FAILED his first real test. Thus the prime aged, rampaging Joshua will be the big favorite with Breazeale in desperate need of a Hail Mary punch. If the flabby Breazeale makes it halfway through round four, the “over” wagers would triple their money, so the oddsmakers are anticipating a huge flux of wagers on the KO of Breazeale before 3.5 rds is up.
That’s just the way it is for this one. If the 26 year old Joshua’s ego doesn’t swell up up beyond containment from the ease of his victories, and he stays in training and progressing, he could finish out as one of the best ever and maybe even undefeated to boot. Gonna be a platoon of big boys out there in his future just waiting for that one shot to obliterate him, so this one more step at a time, easy as she goes sailor.