British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua, yesterday at the O2 Arena in London, produced a classy display to knockout tough American Dominic Breazeale and make a successful first defence of his IBF world heavyweight crown.
Joshua dropped Breazeale – only the second man to take him past three rounds – in the seventh round with a huge left, right combination. He got up that time but soon after, at 1min 01secs into the round, a barrage of blows rained in on the American and ensured his fight was over.
It was an impressive, gutsy display from the challenger and an even more impressive performance from the 26-year-old Olympic champion. He needed someone who could take him into the middle rounds and he showed he could handle the extra distance.
Joshua will take a couple of weeks out and then look at a fight with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, the IBF’s mandatory challenger.
Stars of sport and showbiz including golfer Rory McIlroy, England cricket captain Alastair Cook, former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno, chef Gordon Ramsey and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts were among those at London’s O2 Arena who paid a wonderful tribute to The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, ahead of the first world heavyweight contest since his death earlier this month.
Joshua looked relaxed at the beginning of the fight and, despite his height disadvantage, when the two men stripped down to ther shorts and took to the centre of the ring it was the Brit who looked bigger. And it was Joshua who found his rhythm quickest, too, an early left warning Breazeale of the sort of power he could expect before a couple of rights found their way through.
It was soon apparent that Breazeale couldn’t match Joshua’s speed and early in round two the right again found its target a couple of times, marking the challenger to the side of his right eye. By the end of the round that eye was black and puffed up as Joshua stepped up the pace.
He had said in the build-up to this fight that he wouldn’t have minded it going at least six or seven rounds and when Breazeale did find his way through with one right hand Joshua’s response was pleasing, a lightning two-shot reply.
The American stood firm though but as Joshua jabbed away he wasn’t going to stay there and finally he crumbled in the seventh.
EURO 2016 Results & Fixtures
Poland 1-1 Switzerland
(Poland win 5-4 penalties)
Wales 1-0 N.Ireland
Portugal 1-0 Croatia
(Portugal win AET)
France v Ireland 2pm
Germany v Slovakia 5pm
Hungary v Belgium 8pm