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Breazeale: Anthony Joshua is in for a war!

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By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten American Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) says he’s going to be in the UK looking to kick some backside on June 25, when he challenges IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England. This the 26-year-old Joshua’s maiden title defense of his IBF strap, and it’s one of those situations where anything can go wrong.

First off, Joshua is fighting a guy with more height than him in 6’7” Breazeale, and he’s dealing with a fighter with punching power similar to his own. Breazeale is a knockout artist, and Joshua is a guy that slugs at every opportunity. Joshua hasn’t learned yet that he can’t win every war because all it takes is one punch from a giant heavyweight and it’s over with.

Breazeale plans on turning his fight against Joshua into a war on June 25. Breazeale understands that his best chance of winning the contest is to go out and swing for the fences in the opening seconds of the 1st round to try and take the 6’6” Joshua out with one of his big power shots.

“I’m over here with the understanding that I’m doing the a** kicking,” said Breazeale to about his fight against Joshua. “Anthony Joshua knows he’s in for a war. I’m not going to take a 13-hour plane ride all the way over to London to lay down on the mat, and if I do unfortunately get put down on the mat then I’ve already proven that I can get off the mat and finish the fight.”

Surprisingly, Joshua seems to like the idea of Breazeale coming out and punching with him, because he wants that kind of fight. Joshua obviously has that youthful feeling of being invincible. Joshua hasn’t been knocked out yet. Once that happens, we’ll likely see Joshua make a MAJOR change in his fighting style to become more of a finesse type of fighter. If Joshua doesn’t learn to become more of a complete fighter after his first knockout loss, then we might end up seeing him get knocked out repeatedly for the remainder of his career. I’m just saying. Don’t say I didn’t warn Joshua.

Sometimes when a fighter gets blasted out, they lose their punch resistance, and they start getting knocked out left and right as their career moves on. If the fighters don’t adapt and make changes to their fighting styles, they suffer knockout losses after knockout losses. Somehow, I see Joshua as one of those types of fighters that is resistant to change when it comes to his fighting style. I think Joshua will stubbornly continue to slug for the remainder of his career despite the likely negative consequences.

Wladimir Klitschko as a fighter that adapted early in his career to become more of a finesse fighter after he suffered knockout losses to Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. Before making a change to his fighting style in 2005, Wladimir used to be a wild slugger just like Joshua. Wladimir was smart by getting with the late great trainer Emanuel Steward and becoming a more rounded fighter by learning some defense.

“People are comparing me to Charles Martin. Charles Martin is not a 2012 US Olympian; Charles Martin did not knock out 38 of his 42 wins as an amateur as well as 15 of his 17 as a pro,” said Breazeale.

I don’t see too many boxing fans comparing Breazeale to Martin. The two of them are completely different fighters. The only thing Breazeale and Martin had in common is they’re both Americans, tall, powerful and unbeaten going into their fights with Joshua. Other than that, they are two completely different fighters. That’s like comparing Joshua with Audley Harrison, simply because both guys are tall, from the UK, and are former Olympic gold medalists. Yeah, you can compare Joshua to Harrison, but I think it’s stupid unless you’re just focusing on superficial stuff like gold medals, height and where they grew up.

Breazeale has a really good chance of handing Joshua his first loss of his career on June 25 in their fight on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. Joshua is going to make it easy for Breazeale to have a chance at winning this fight by standing and punching with him. When you do that, the fight turns into a 50-50 affair.

It comes down to whoever lands first in some cases. Even if Joshua does flatten Breazeale, he’s probably going to need to deal with him when he gets up off the canvas and goes after him with a vengeance. Breazeale has already said that if he gets cornered by Joshua, he’s going to be like a vicious dog in attacking him back and giving him some bad punishment.

What you have to like about Breazeale is how smart the guy is. He’s incredibly intelligent for a fighter, and he sounds more like an executive with an MBA from Yale or Harvard than a fighter. Breazeale is a smart guy and he clearly has dissected Joshua’s past fights and seen his many flaws in his game, as I have.

Joshua is a big vulnerable fighter with flaws in his game that will soon be catching up with him. Whether Breazeale is the guy that can take advantage of those flaws is the big question. But just the fact that Breazeale understands what Joshua’s flaws are and has put together a great game plan to take advantage of those flaws gives him a very, very good chance of winning the fight on June 25.

Joshua is like a young George Foreman fighting an intelligent fighter like Jimmy Young, who understands what he needs to do in order to beat him. Young wasn’t a big puncher with the huge size and reach that Breazeale has going for him though, which is why this is such a dangerous match-up for Joshua.

The good news for Joshua is that even if he loses to Breazeale, he can still make a ton of money in the rematch. There’s no question that the two of them will face each other a second time in a rematch in the UK. I think it’ll be a much bigger fight than their first fight.

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