Current IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is the boxing betting favorite to defeat Dominic Breazeale at the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday, June 26th. Don’t believe me? Just watch:
Dominic Breazeale 3½ (+310) +2000
Anthony Joshua 3½ (-400) -4000
People who bet on boxing will find these two fighters very similar on paper. Both are very tall heavyweights – Joshua stands at 6’6”, while Breazeale does at 6’7”. Both have similar reach – 82 inches for Joshua and 81½ inches for Breazeale. Both have orthodox stances. And most importantly, they are both undefeated in almost as many bouts. Breazeale has won his 17 professional fights (15 by KO), while Joshua has been the victor in his 16 pro matches (all by knockout). Breazeale last bout was against Amir Mansour for the vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title on January 23rd, while Joshua most recently beat Charles Martin on April 9th in a successful IBF championship defense.
Perhaps where these two differ most is in their background. In addition to being a former quarterback on the football team at the University of Northern Colorado, Breazeale was the No. 1 rated U.S. amateur boxer in the heavyweight division. He won the 2012 U.S. National Super Heavyweight championship, but lost in the first round of the London Olympics in 2012. Conversely, Joshua – who got a late start in boxing – won Europe’s Haringey Box Cup in 2009 and 2010, as well as the senior ABA Championships in 2010, the same year he turned £50,000 to go pro, because he wanted to win medals (Brock Lesnar Fact: titles – or medals – don’t pay the bills). And win medals he did, specifically the silver medal at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships, and the gold at the 2012 Olympics, representing his home country.
Speaking of home field, something else that might give Joshua a boxing betting advantage is that the bout with Breazeale will take place in jolly old England – indeed, his four last fights have all taken place at the O2 Arena, where he made his professional debut and also where he won his first title. Fans who bet on boxing would be right to call the former North Greenwich Arena Anthony Joshua’s house. The question is whether Breazeale can successfully perform a home invasion. Other, more cynic people might be wondering instead which round will Joshua knock Breazeale out in – what with his 100% KO rate and being the boxing betting favorite. Plus, Joshua has a record other than his win/loss record, so you know he is bad. On the other hand, he has expressed interest in chess and reading as means to reinforce his boxing and tactical abilities, so you know he also has an intellectual side.