SAN DIEGO, June 25, 2016 – Give California heavyweight Dominic Breazeale credit for exceeding expectations. Despite losing to British heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua, Breazeale took Joshua deeper into a fight than anyone expected, second only to Dillian Whyte who lasted 26 more seconds than Breazeale.
But against a heavyweight with the skill and talent of Joshua, simply taking a punch well and standing tough doesn’t begin to make a dent against the British IBF heavyweight champion. Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) outclassed Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) from the opening bell with his speed and power on the way to knocking out Breazeale at 1:01 of round 7.
The fight resembled a sparring session for Joshua, who took his time and landed punches at his pleasure against Breazeale. He used the jab sparingly, measuring distance perfectly and using his speed to pounce, pound, and move away.
Joshua took care of business in the seventh with a straight overhand right, followed by a flurry of shots. After taking a pounding for six rounds, it was too much for the game Breazeale.
“You can see when you start catching him flush, it was just a matter of time,” said Joshua. “But in the process, I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of any haymakers on the way back.”
Joshua said he’d hoped to fight the winner of the Tyson Fury vs. Wladimir Klitschko rematch, but Fury’s injury will now throw the schedule off if Joshua wants another fight in 2016. Asked about his options, American Deontay Wilder came up. Wilder was watching in the Showtime studios in New York, and Joshua knew it. “So he [Wilder] watched that and he can pick up whatever he wants from that, but it’s so different when you are in the ring with each other. One day we will get to experience what each other is about,” said Joshua of Wilder.
Joshua said a more likely opponent is the talented young 22 year old New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, now living in Las Vegas and who is undefeated in 19 fights with 16 knockouts. “I think it will have to be the likes of Parker. I was looking to the likes of Fury, but we’re going to have to reschedule that.”
For now, Joshua says he needs to rest and recharge his batteries after two fights in two months and seven fights since April 2015. “This is my moment, and I’m just taking advantage of it,” said Joshua.
Joshua draws comparisons to Muhammad Ali, and it’s easy to see why. He has the appealing confidence, impressive speed for any boxer much less a heavyweight, and he’s just about as pretty. Yes, I said it. Parker may not be quite ready, but if he’s willing to step up to the plate it’s a British Commonwealth battle fans worldwide will enjoy.
Breazeale is 30 but only started boxing nine years ago. He is still learning and if he can absorb the lessons of this bout the way he absorbed tough shots for seven rounds, he’ll improve and remain viable as a heavyweight contender.
On the undercard, British middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. (23-1, 18 KOs) had little trouble retaining his belt with a fourth round TKO over Tom Doran of Wales (17-1, 7 KOs). Eubank dropped Doran in the third round and twice midway through the fourth round. Doran’s corner should have stopped it; Eubank Jr. did a bit of showboating before stopping it himself at 2:35 of the round. Eubank Jr. described the fight as “just another day at the office.”
The newsworthy aspect to the fight came afterward, when Eubank Jr. called out consensus middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, something very few boxers have been bold enough to do.
“For me it’s all about making statements. I feel I’m a world level now … Golovkin man, I’m coming for you, I’m coming for your belts. For some reason everyone’s afraid. I’m not … Everyone with a belt, I’m coming for you.”
Eubank Jr. called himself a “fighter’s fighter,” adding “Any fighter worth his salt wants to fight the best, best the best and become the best.” Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said he’s all for it. “There’s not many people who want to fight Golovkin. Chris does. Chris Eubank Jr. versus Gennady Golovkin could get made this week,” said Hearn.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 immediately responded on Twitter, congratulating Eubank Jr. and saying Golovkin would be willing to come to the UK to defend all his world titles. Get on the blower gentlemen and make it happen. Take note, Canelo.
George Groves (24-3, 18 KOs) answered his critics by putting on his best performance in many years with a smart, powerful unanimous decision against Martin Murray (33-4-1, 13 KOs). The judges all scored it 118-110. Groves was in control from the opening bell, keeping the pace steady but limiting Murray’s activity for the first few rounds. Murray got more aggressive starting in the fourth round, but Groves stepped right up, and Murray started taking serious punishment.
But don’t let the scores deceive you. Murray pushed Groves to the limit and tested him with a gutsy performance fueled by sheer heart. As Murray recognized he was behind, he rallied and decided to go for broke in Round 10. It’s on the short list of Round of the Year as the pair traded shots. Groves showed his renewed stamina and toughness by weathering the attack and turning Murray back. Murray stood firm on sheer heart, determined he would leave the fight on his own two feet. It earned him the respect of his opponent and every person watching.
“Martin Murray is a class act, he should be a world champion,” said Groves after the decision. “It was make or break and neither of us broke tonight. Several times, his power of recovery was phenomenal. I was punching hard. I’ll be even better in the next fight, but what a performance from Murray.”
Murray called himself “gutted” by the result. “I got beat by a better man tonight,” said Murray. “He hurt me a couple of times he punches well. He had me on the back foot. It is what it is … I got beat clearly today there was no denying it. “ Murray said he’s not ready to retire. “I feel like I’ve got so much more to give.”
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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