As I’m not back at my parents until next Wednesday, I couldn’t watch The Gloves Are Off when it was originally broadcast on Sky Sports. Thankfully, some legend uploaded it to YouTube so I managed to watch it this morning.
After watching the 22 minute showdown, I’m extremely excited about the big fight night on June 25th. In fact, my enthusiasm for the IBF Heavyweight bout is bigger than my anticipation for Euro 2016.
The champion was everything you’d expect; confident, well spoken, and keen to plant seeds of doubt in the challenger’s head. While we haven’t seen much of Anthony Joshua in terms of rounds, we’ve seen plenty in terms of performance. We expect speed and power. But I’m sure Dominic Breazeale does too.
Like most people, I know very little about the challenger other than his failure at London 2012 and his record of 17-0. In America, that doesn’t necessarily count for too much as promoters are very astute when it comes to plumping up a fighter’s record with handpicked opponents. Having said that, I’m sure the 6ft 7in former American Football quarterback will provide Joshua with a competitive first defence.
With Charles Martin, you never felt that he belonged there. His confident comments weren’t matched with the body language. Breazeale is different; he’s more like Joshua in the sense that he’s confident without being overly cocky. And his body language told a far more telling story.
Johnny Nelson annoys me when it comes to Joshua interviews. He clearly has an agenda and often seems quite disrespectful. I though that will Dillian Whyte and Martin. Nothing has changed, but Breazeale did well to let it go over his head.
Brezeale’s suggestions that Joshua didn’t deserve his gold medal at London 2012 seemed a little redundant as that was now four years ago. What did stand out, however, was his statements about playing American Football in front of 70,000 people. The O2 shouldn’t faze him, which will instantly make him a stronger opponent that Martin.
Of course I want Joshua to win. But I can’t be the only one craving a real fight, like the Whyte one. If it’s another two round demolition, I might have to stop watching his fights until he takes on a Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
After the animosity in that showdown shortly after the fight announcement, I had hoped for more fireworks in front of the Sky cameras. While that didn’t materialise, it’s certainly taken the anticipation to another level.
I suppose that means Sky Sports, and the two fighters have done a pretty good job at selling the fight too.