Joshua vs. Breazeale: Dominic to take Anthony into deep waters
By Scott Gilfoid: I hope IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) is ready for a long haul fight on Saturday night, because unbeaten American Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) plans on dragging him into the deeper waters and drown him in front of his own fans at the O2 Arena in London, England.
17,000 fans are expected to show up on Saturday night for the Joshua-Breazeale fight, and pretty much all of them will be rooting for Joshua. Yeah, there might be a small handful of Breazeale fans, but not enough for them to be over the roar of the crowd. Breazeale is going to be an island out there surrounded by Joshua fans singing, cheering and maybe even booing depending on the amount of success Breazeale has in the contest.
Breazeale, 6’7”, already has his game plan picked out for the fight. He’s going to jump on Joshua from the opening bell, and force the heavily muscled fighter to fight hard for three minutes of every round. It’s a plan that Breazeale and his training team have put together after analyzing many of Joshua’s past fights to see what works against him. They’ve evidently noted the same things that I’ve seen when watching Joshua’s fights.
Joshua is a big guy with a TON of muscles that he’s packed on in a short period of time since turning pro in 2013. Joshua likes for his opponents to come out slowly so that he can land a big shot with perfect form and then flurry on them to get a knockout. When you flip the script like Dillian Whyte did last December by flurrying on him, Joshua’s form breaks down immediately and he can’t throw his shots with perfect form, and he gets very, very tired due all that useless muscles he’s packed on.
“I plan on putting on some extreme pressure and taking Joshua to places he’s never been. We’ll find out on Saturday night if he can handle it,” said Breazeale to skysports.com. “I want him to feel uncomfortable at all given times of the fight, every second of every round. Yes, he’s got rid of a lot of his guys in the earlier rounds; he hasn’t been taken into deep waters. Do I want to see him go into uncharted territory? Of course, without a doubt,” said Breazeale.
Breazeale is a smart fighter. He knows what I know about Joshua. You’ve got to make him and his body-building muscles work hard by fighting in a brawling manner the same way Whyte did with him. The good news or Breazeale is that Joshua doesn’t have the foot speed to escape from him when he does start putting pressure on him. Joshua backed off against Whyte in their fight last December, but he looked like a snail in slowly backing off.
If Whyte hadn’t suffered a shoulder injury in the 2nd round of their contest last year, he would gone after Joshua and had it out with him when he had backed off. Joshua clearly needed to rest after Whyte staggered him in the 2nd. Joshua was also very tired from having been forced to fight hard for the first two rounds of the fight.
Joshua was able to fight hard in the Olympics in those three round fights, but he was a lot leaner back then compared to now. Instead of staying at 220lbs, Joshua has packed on 30 pounds of useless muscle. That muscle isn’t going to help him when/if Breazeale forces him to fight at a fast pace and gets him into the later rounds of the fight. The muscles that Joshua has put on are more of the type that you see body builders put on when they’re entering contests or if they want to look good on the beach.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone with the type of muscles Joshua has put on is going to be capable of fighting a hard fight for 12 rounds. I just don’t. I think Joshua is going to find out the hard way that he made a big mistake in putting on all that muscle. When he gets tired late in the fight, he’ll likely be wishing he was 220 again so that he had more energy. Joshua will need to trim down his body weight if he loses this fight to take off all that muscle he’s put on. That’ll take a while for Joshua to take that muscle off properly without being weakened by the process. I’m just saying.
“I think Joshua’s thinking of me as a stepping stone and he’s going to be sorry about that,” said Breazeale. “He’s just wrong. He’s fighting a guy at 6’7”, 255 pounds that brings the pressure and a great pace from round-to-round.”
Of course, Joshua is thinking of Breazeale as a stepping stone. He wouldn’t have hand-picked him as his opponent if he didn’t see him as a stepping stone. If Joshua wanted someone that he felt would give him the best possible fight and that would impress the boxing world the most, he would have selected Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz.
Breazeale is a very solid fighter, but he doesn’t have the long amateur background that Luis Ortiz has going for him. Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn wouldn’t have likely selected Breazeale if they thought there was a chance he could lose. In other words, if they wanted a 50-50 fight, they would have selected a talent like Ortiz. With Breazeale, it’s more of a 60-40 or 70-30 fight in Joshua’s favor. He’s got all the advantages in this fight.
Breazeale will need to take advantage of Joshua’s biggest flaw in his game by fighting hard at all times, not letting him rest, and making him fight with sloppy form by brawling with him. Joshua is dangerous if you hang back and wait for him to load up with one of his right hands with proper form. Joshua is mediocre when he’s tired and brawling. His form is gone, he’s throwing arm punches, and he’s tired. Joshua is like an old locomotive going up a steep hill when he’s forced to fight hard. It’s to be expected when you’re carrying around the kind of muscle weight that Joshua is.