Anthony Joshua to fight Dominic Breazeale in his first IBF title defence

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Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF world title on June 25, and the newly-crowned champion has now announced his opponent.

He is returning to the ring remarkably quickly, having only won the belt by defeating Charles Martin on April 9.

Winning that fight in just two rounds, he has picked another American as his first challenger, this time facing off against Dominic Breazeale.


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Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn chose to move the fight forward to avoid clashing with Tyson Fury's rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, but the fight will have huge appeal of its own regardless of the date. 

"My coaches have watched Breazeale for a long time and they knew he was going to be a player in the division and now we get the chance to go war on June 25", Joshua told Sky Sports. 

"I am looking to get passed Breazeale in style and continue moving towards the unification fight everybody is waiting for. I'm looking forward to being part of a stacked night of boxing and defending my title in style."

Who is Dominic Breazeale?

At 30 years of age, Breazeale is a more experienced fighter. He also has an extra inch on Joshua, standing at 6"7.  

That frame earned him a place on the American football team at the University of Northern Colorado, where he played as a quarterback. 

Known as 'Trouble', he has been selected for this fight partly because he is one of the few boxers in the division who can rival Joshua's record.

The British fighter has 16 knockouts in 16 fights, while Breazeale has 15 out of 17. 

Joshua will be hoping that Breazeale shows some of the signs of weakness that he did in his January fight against Amir Mansour, who managed to knock him down, though not out.

Breazeale returned to his feet to force a stoppage in that bout, but it might have dented his confidence nonetheless, and that is something Joshua will be looking to take advantage of.  

Home advantage

The fight will once again take place at The 02, London, the scene of the Joshua vs. Martin fight. It also gives Joshua home advantage, which could be key. 

It will also make interesting viewing to see how Breazeale copes outside of America, as he has never fought away from his native country. 

If Joshua can overcome him, then he may finally get a shot at one of Britain's big-name heavyweight fighters such as David Haye or Tyson Fury. 

That will be the next step in Joshua earning real respect as a champion, but beating Breazeale will be by no means straightforward. If he is unable to do that, it is hugely unlikely he will be entertained by any of boxing's big-money promoters. 

Who would you like to see Joshua fight next? Have your say in the comments. 

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