When it was announced that Britain’s latest world champion, Anthony Joshua will make the first defence of his newly-attained IBF heavyweight title on June 25th at London’s O2 Arena against American challenger, Dominic Breazeale, the first words on everyone’s lips were, “Who?!”
As a boxing trainer and former professional boxer who has been in this pain game for over two decades, I knew exactly who he was, and I did a little further research to allow the rest of you to get to know the forthcoming visitor from across the pond a little better.
Here’s 12 things you may not already know about the man to present AJ with his first defence as a world champ:
12. Dominic Breazeale hails from Alhambra, California, a city with a population of almost 100,000, situated just eight miles from downtown L.A.
11. He was born on August 24th 1985.
10. A natural sportsman, Breazeale is a former quarterback on the football team at the University of Northern Colorado, playing between the 2006-2007 season.
9. He was offered the chance to play American football professionally in Canada after graduation but was forced to turn it due to his wife being pregnant with their first child.
8. The now 30-year-old heavyweight qualified for the 2012 London Olympics but lost in the prelims 19-8 to Russia’s Magomed Omarov.
7. DB won the 2012 US National super-heavyweight championship, making him the number one US-rated amateur boxer in his division at the time.
6. He won his first five fights in the pros all via knockout within the first two rounds.
5. He is the current owner of the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title.
4. He stands at 6ft 7” tall.
3. His previous two opponents have represented a step up in class, first defeating Fred Kassi on points last September, then forcing Amir Mansour to retire at the end of the fifth round in January this year after initially trailing on the scorecards and picking himself up off the canvas in the third round, resulting in the 43-year-old southpaw to retire on his stool due to a fractured jaw and ripped tongue that required 36 stitches!
2. He is ranked 13th in the IBF’s latest rankings this month and placed at 15th with the WBC and IBO.
1. His KO ratio is 88% and is currently unbeaten with 15 KO’s from 17 victories.
(Images sent in by Tim Rickson)
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