Making his first defense of his IBF heavyweight title, Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) gave American Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) a bad beating in defeating him by a 7th round knockout on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Joshua put the game but limited Breazeale down two times in the 7th. The fight was stopped at 1:01 with Breazeale on the canvas unable to get up. He was too hurt.
Breazeale had talked ahead of time of giving Joshua a tough fight, but the only thing Breazeale was the ability to absorb a horrible beating. I’m not sure that Joshua could have withstood the amount of huge shots that Breazeale took if the fight was the other way around.
Breazeale showed a lot of heart in taking the punishment that he did. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to dish out the same kind of punishment to Joshua. Breazeale was staggered and hurt in the 2nd round from a right uppercut from Joshua. He made it out of the round, but he was never the same after that. Joshua spent rounds three though seven using Breazeale as a punching bag and doing whatever he pleased.
It looked to me like Joshua could have taken Breazeale out at any time if he wanted to. He appeared to keep Breazeale around to get work in and perhaps show the boxing fans that he can fight past the fourth without gassing out.
It was a good performance by Joshua. It didn’t show us how good he is because Breazeale is a fringe contender that arguably lost to journeyman Fred Kassi last year but was given a 10 round decision. Breazeale was also on his way to getting stopped by Amir Mansour in his last fight until Mansour suffered an injury. You can’t really say much about Joshua off a win like this because Breazeale has already been exposed twice as a pro.
For Joshua to prove something, he’ll need to beat guys like Tyson Fury, Joseph Parker, Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, Luis Ortiz, and Deontay Wilder.
In the co-feature bout, #2 WBC super middleweight contender George Groves (24-3, 18 Kos) defeated Martin Murray (33-4-1, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a WBA 168lb title eliminator. Groves hurt Murray several times in the fight with hard right hands down the middle of his guard. Murray only fought in spurts in the entire fight. He spent most of the time covering up with his high guard and not throwing shots. Murray fought the same way in his failed title attempt against former WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez several years ago. Murray didn’t throw punches in that fight either and wound up losing a fight he could have won if he’d let his hands go.
Groves wasn’t particularly impressive despite winning the fight. He looked tired in the last four rounds, and was hurt by Murray on a couple of occasions. Murray had Groves holding on in round 10 after hurting him with a left hook. Groves was doing a lot of holding anyway and it looked like it was a planned strategy to grab Murray each time he got close enough to throw punches.
Groves is now the WBA mandatory challenger to champion Giovanni De Carolis. That’s going to be a toss-up fight. De Carolis is a better fighter than, and he’s someone that throws punches. That might be bad for Groves because he looked shaky tonight with the few punches Murray threw in the fight. I saw no improvement in Groves’ chin or his stamina. He still looks weak in both areas. There’s a also a chance that Groves could fight #1 WBA Fedor Chudinov if WBA Super World champion Felix Sturm winds up being stripped of his title for his recent drug test.
#2 WBA, #2 WBC middleweight contender and British champion Chris Eubank Jr. (23-1, 18 KOs) easily defeated Tom Doran (17-1, 7 KO) in scoring a 4th round knockout. Eubank Jr. knocked Doran down four times in total. One of the knockdowns came in round three, and the final three were in the fourth. Eubank Jr. looked like he was toying with Doran much of the time in this mismatch. The fight was stopped at 2:35 of round four after Doran was knocked down for the third time in the round. It’s possible that Eubank Jr. could fight Gennady Golovkin next. Eubank Jr. will have his hands full with Golovkin.
Other boxing results on tonight;’s card in London:
Chris Eubank Jr TKO 4 Tom Doran
Conor Benn KO 1 Lukas Radic
Dillian Whyte KO 6 Ivica Bacurin
Anthony Ogogo W RTD 1 Frane Radnic
Andrea Scarpa TKO 6 John Wayne Hibbert