Britain’s Anthony Joshua will make the first defence of his International Boxing Federation world heavyweight title against unbeaten American Dominic Breazeale in June, it was announced yesterday.
Breazeale, 30, will return to London, where he competed at the 2012 Olympics—a tournament where Joshua won a gold medal—for the June 25 clash at the O2 Arena.
It will be the American’s first title fight but, according to Joshua, his camp have been studying Breazeale closely in the hope he might be an opponent.
“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,” said Joshua.
“It’s sure to be explosive, both of us like to let our hands go and score knockouts, we are both undefeated and both have Olympic pedigree,” the 26-year-old added.
“I am looking to get past Breazeale in style and continue moving towards the unification fight everybody is waiting for.”
Breazeale lost 19-8 to Russia’s Magomed Omarov in the first round at London 2012 having come to boxing relatively late after trying to forge a career as an American football quarterback in the NFL.
But the 6ft 7in American has won all 17 off his professional fights so far.
This month saw Joshua become world champion after a quick stoppage win over defending champion Charles Martin in London.
His success sparked calls for a ‘Battle of Britain’ unification bout with compatriot Tyson Fury.
The World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion, Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko on points in Germany in November and will face the Ukrainian again in Manchester on July 9.
It was Fury’s decision to seek a re-match with Klitschko that prompted the IBF to strip him of their version of the title.
Other potential opponents being lined up for Joshua include Britain’s former world heavyweight champion David Haye and the United States’ Deontay Wilder, the reigning World Boxing Council title-holder.