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Joshua vs. Breazeale: Anthony plans on mentally breaking Dominic

Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) has been known to be a pure brawler since his amateur days. He’s continued that trend into the pro ranks in knocking out the vast majority of his opponents inside four rounds. But for tonight’s fight, Joshua wants to beat challenger Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) mentally before stopping him inside the distance in their bout at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Does this mean that the 26-year-old Joshua will try to actually box Breazeale rather than using his normal approach of steamrolling his over-matched opposition? We’ll have to find out tonight.

All I know is that Joshua has never shown the mobility or the needed flexibility for his upper body for him to box his opponents. To be a boxer, you need to be mobile, and it requires a physique that is flexible. Joshua has neither of those things going for him, and I don’t think he ever will. Joshua weighed in at 243lbs last Friday at the weigh-in, but he still appeared to be over-muscled and bulky with muscle weight that isn’t suited towards being a boxer.

“Dominic Breazeale is an articulate man,” said Joshua to “There’s so much about the body – we train for weeks to get in shape – but he’s got a good mindset. I need to break him right down, defeat him mentally and the rest will fall.”

I doubt that there will be any mental breaking down from either of these fighters. Breazeale isn’t that type of fighter, and neither if Joshua. What we’re going to see tonight is both of these big heavyweights do what they do best by moving straight at each other and swinging for the fences until one of them goes down for the count.

There’s very little chance this fight will see the 12th round. I see that as a career thing for both. They’re just sluggers by nature. I mean, I don’t rate Joshua and Breazeale among the great sluggers of all time like George Foreman or Mike Tyson, but they’re good for this era. They’ll never be like Mike Tyson because both are too slow and lack the one-punch power and elusiveness that we saw from the talented Tyson during his prime.

Joshua and Breazeale will slug until it’s over with. The winner will move on and try the same bit in their next fight. Sooner or later, the winner of the Breazeale vs. Joshua fight will get knocked out themselves due to their brawling primitive caveman style.

Brawlers only last a certain amount of time before they meet someone that is better at it than them or someone that lands a big enough punch to get them out. I don’t see Joshua or Breazeale having a long shelf life with their careers. They get hit too much, and that punishment will catch up to them eventually.

Joshua says he wants to use the “opportunity to move around and pick my shots, to go on the back foot and use my boxing skill.”

I’ve seen Joshua try to get away from his opponents in his amateur fights, and he did a poor job of it. Joshua moved like a body builder around the ring, and his opponents quickly were on top of him. It was fruitless. Joshua doesn’t move well enough due to his slow feet for him to get away from Breazeale or anyone.

Joshua might as well stand in the same place focus on using his jab repeatedly. If he moves around, he’s just going to get quickly cornered by Breazeale. More importantly, if Joshua moves a lot, he’ll risk gassing out and/or losing power on his punches. I think he’s better off standing in the pocket and trying his best to box from that position than wasting energy needlessly in trying to avoid Breazeale.

I get the feeling that Joshua wants to try and prove that he box because of all the criticism he’s been receiving lately about him not having the skills to box. Former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis said recently that he rates Tyson Fury as the No.1 heavyweight in the division right now because he’s shown the ability to box for 12 rounds. Lewis says he hasn’t seen that from Joshua.

“Can Lewis box? No, because he hasn’t reached that level yet,” said Lewis to the “He hasn’t been taken into fights like Tyson Fury has. Fury has gone 12 rounds on his toes, so who’s better? You have to say Fury right now,” said Lewis.

So there it is. Fury is better because he knows how to box, and Joshua still hasn’t shown that he can do that. I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. Even if Joshua does eventually go 12 rounds, I see him doing it by slugging it out the entire time like Ike Ibeabuchi and David Tua did in their fight in June 1997. The two heavily muscled fighters traded bombs for 12 rounds in throwing over 1000 punches. Ibeabuchi won the fight by a 12 round decision, but he took a lot of punishment, as did Tua. There was no boxing involved though. I see Joshua as the same way. He might wind up having to go 12 rounds one of these days, but he’ll be slugging the entire time. Whoever goes the distance with Joshua, will be dishing out a lot of punishment while taking punishment as well.

“This is Anthony’s hometown and I’ve got to expect that,” Breazeale said to “The fans are going to have his back, but after Saturday night they’re all going to be my fans and I’m looking forward to it. In the end I’m going to knock out Anthony Joshua. That’s what I came here to do.”

Joshua’s fans are just going to encourage him to slug more with their cheering. Joshua feeds off that, and ALWAYS responds by slugging even more. I don’t think he could box even if he wanted to, because as soon as he hears the cheering, he’ll be looking to brain Breazeale and get him out of there as fast as possible. Believe, you will not see Joshua boxing tonight. I mean, he might try to in the first round, but he’ll quickly abandon that plan as soon as the fans start screaming.

Prediction: Joshua by 4th round knockout over Breazeale. I cannot see this fight going past the fourth.

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