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Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale results


By Patrick McHugh: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) won his 17th straight victory on Saturday night in stopping fringe contender #13 IBF Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) in the 7th round at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Joshua dropped Breazeale twice in round seven to get the stoppage. Breazeale, 30, was too hurt to get up after the second knockdown of the round. Breazeale was not happy with the referee attempting to assist him while he was down, as he pushed him away angrily. Referee Howard John Foster stopped the fight officially at 1:01 of the 7th round.

In the first knockdown of round seven, Joshua trapped the 6’7″ Breazeale against the ropes and hit him with a flurry of shots that send him down. After Breazeale got up, Joshua nailed him with some tremendous shots to the head that sent him down for the second and final time in the round. Breazeale looked like he wanted to try and get up, but he was clearly far too hurt for him to make it to his feet.

Breazeale was staggered badly in round 2 from a hard right uppercut from Joshua. The punch sent Joshua scurrying across the ring on shaky legs. There wasn’t enough time left in the round for Joshua to finish Breazeale off, otherwise he would have been stopped in that round.

Breazeale did a good job of recovering in between rounds to come back and continue to take punishment in round three. Joshua trapped Breazeale against the ropes in the round, but the American fighter was able to land some nice right hands that caused Joshua to back off.

By the 4th round, Breazeale’s right eye was swollen and closing from the left hands he was getting hit with. Joshua was nailing Breazeale with a lot of jabs and left hooks that were doing a number on his eye. Joshua a huge left hook to the head of Breazeale late in the round that caused sweat to fly into the audience.

Breazeale took the shot well, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to continue to take that kind of punishment for long.

Breaeale had almost completely stopped punching by the 5th. He seemed more concerned about not getting hit by Joshua’s big right hands and left hooks than he was in throwing his own shots. Breazeale’s only chance of winning was to throw right hands, but he wouldn’t do it. He was just throwing jabs and looking to land punches when he was backed against the ropes. With Breazeale not throwing any punches, Joshua was free to tee off on him with pot shots and head-snapping jabs.

It was surprising how good Joshua’s jab was tonight. He controlled the fight with it, and kept the taller 6’7” Breazeale bottled up and unable to unleash his own shots. The hand speed difference between the two giant heavyweights was significant. Joshua was the much faster fighter, and was able to land his punches well before Breazeale. That was particularly noticeable in the first three rounds of the fight when Breazeale was still throwing punches and trying to win. Joshua’s hand speed was far better than Breazeale.

Joshua was able to get his shots off first all night long, and Breazeale had to react to them each time. It would have been in Breazeale’s best interest to use timing to land his shots, because Joshua was predictable in the punches he was throwing, but Breazeale wouldn’t let his hands go. He appeared to be worried about getting hit with a shot while coming forward to land.

In some ways this fight was a disappointment. Breazeale said he was going to fight hard and not fight passively like former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin did in his 2nd round knockout loss to Joshua last April, but that’s pretty much what Breazeale did. The only difference is that Breazeale lasted a lot longer than Martin did, and he threw a few more punches than he did early on in the contest. That’s the main difference in the fight.

Breazeale said he was going to fight like a cornered animal if Joshua started to brawl with him, but he didn’t do that. Breazeale fought like he was trying to survive rather than someone trying to win the fight. It’s bad news when you get a heavyweight that isn’t trying to take advantage of a world title shot. This might be the last time that Breazeale fights for a world title.

It’s hard to picture him being given another shot during his career, because he recently won a controversial 10 round decision over Fred Kassi in a fight that many boxing fans thought Kassi should have won. In Breazeale’s last fight against 43-year-old Amir Mansour, he was knocked down in round three. If Mansour hadn’t suffered a jaw injury that caused the fight to be stopped in the 5th, it’s likely that Breazeale would have lost that fight too.

With the victory, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn will look to get a top heavyweight in the ring in November. They can forget about fighting IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, because he’s injured and likely won’t be fighting until October against Wladimir Klitschko. WBC champion Deontay Wilder has expressed interest in fighting Joshua, but his promoter Lou Dibella says he wants to wait on the Wilder-Joshua fight until Joshua becomes better known in the United States. His fight tonight against Breazeale was his first of a multi-fight deal with Showtime Boxing to have his fights televised in the U.S.

It’s going to take more than one fight for Joshua to pick up a large fan base in the U.S. One name that is being mentioned as a possible opponent for Joshua is 37-year-old former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne. He’s somewhat well known in the U.S as far as the hardcore boxing fans go, and he recently won a fight against Derric Rossy after losing to Deontay Wilder last year by a one-sided 12 round decision. In facing Stiverne, Joshua would have a veteran heavyweight that can give him some rounds. However, Stiverne is a dangerous puncher with a strong chin. He might be a little too dangerous for Joshua because he’ll definitely punch back all night long. Stiverne is the opposite of Charles Martin and Dominic Breazeale. Stiverne is a bigger puncher than both of those guys, and every shot he throws has knockout intentions on it.

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