Charles Martin took some verbal shots at Anthony Joshua before his heavyweight title defense against the British slugger in April, but was quickly silenced on fight night. Now, Dominic Breazeale is engaging in some of those same tactics in advance of his clash with Joshua, although he vows to present a much tougher challenge.
In a battle of undefeated 2012 Olympians, Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) will defend his heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) on Saturday before a partisan capacity crowd of 20,000 at London’s O2 Arena (Showtime, 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT).
It was in the same venue where Joshua became a world champion by scoring a second-round knockout of Martin, who came into the bout unbeaten amid promises to knock out the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
But the 26-year-old Joshua was barely touched by Martin, and he floored the undefeated southpaw twice in Round 2 en route to becoming the fifth-fastest boxer to win a professional heavyweight world title.
While Breazeale has slightly less ring experience than Martin did before facing Joshua, the 6-foot-7 former college quarterback insists that, unlike his American counterpart, he will bring the fight to the Englishman.
“We are two totally different fighters," Breazeale says of himself and Martin. "Anthony Joshua knows he is now getting in there with a beast. He knows he is in for a dogfight.
“He's going to hit me, and I am going to hit him. And whoever’s will breaks first will lose this fight.”
Breazeale, 30, was scheduled to face Martin in December, but the bout was canceled just days before the fight so Martin could challenge Vyacheslav Glazkov for a vacant world championship in January.
Martin defeated Glazkov by third-round TKO after the Ukrainian fighter went down with a right knee injury and was unable to continue. The newly crowned champion then accepted a $5 million offer to defend his title against the 6-foot-6 Joshua on April 9 in London, but Martin never put up a fight.
“Charles Martin wasn't prepared,” Breazeale says. “He dropped the ball. He fought the wrong fight at the wrong time. He had just won the belt, was excited about that, and he took the wrong fight. I haven't made that mistake. I won't make that mistake.”
Despite Joshua’s destruction of Martin, Breazeale hasn’t lacked for bravado heading into Saturday’s title fight. At promotional events over the past few months, Breazeale has jawed at Joshua at every opportunity in an attempt to rattle the champ, who has been visibly incensed at times by the challenger’s brazen talk.
“I know I got under his skin at the first press conference [in May],” says Breazeale, who predicts he will stop Joshua in six or seven rounds. “He was rattled when we met, and he knows I’m not some pushover like he’s faced in the past.”
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