No-one is expecting too much of a fight on Saturday night. Anthony Joshua is 33/1 on to beat American Dominic Breazeale at The O2 , marching comfortably on to dominate the heavyweight bracket.
Boxing expert Barry Hearn thinks he’s already No.1 with a match-up with mouthy Tyson Fury another simple day at the office for the young IBF champion when it comes, possibly later this year.
Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, told Sky Sports : “I’ve got the best heavyweight for the next 10 years on the planet. I can’t see anyone beating him. I think the kid is outstanding and he’s got a lot of improvement left in him yet.
“Even as he is today, he’s the best heavyweight in the world. What he’s going to be like in two years’ time is frightening.”
All this doesn’t say much for Breazeale or those forking out for a ticket either for the sold-out event itself in Greenwich or on pay-per-view. Tyson Fury thinks so too.
He lambasted the 26-year-old for picking “another knock-over”, highlighting the difference between the Londoner’s fights and his own forthcoming rematch with the formidable Wladimir Klitschko.
“They’re just big old lumps who can’t make it in basketball so they turn to boxing,” the Gypsy King said of Breazeale and Charles Martin, who dropped to the Greenwich ring in under two rounds in April.
Fury is itching to get into the ring with Joshua – although he claims that he would never try to reclaim AJ’s belt following trouble with the IBF
“I will never fight for it again. They messed me about before and I will never pay them another sanctioning fee.
“Me and Joshua is massive. But if we fight it won’t be for his belt. Who cares? Joshua is a paper champion.”
Breazeale, 30, is undefeated and insiders say there’s an outside chance it might be more of a test for Joshua, who has never gone the full distance as a pro. The American is undefeated and he suggests the showdown was more a lottery than the bookies suggest. “It will depend on which one of us lands the big shot first,” he said.
He's no stranger to east London having represented the USA in the London 2012 Games.
He said: “I have no back up plan because I am going to KO AJ. The more I talk, the more I want to get in there and do this, bite down on the gumshield and fight. He’s chosen the wrong man.”
Joshua has been training in Sheffield with the Olympic team this week but ruled out returning to Olympic action now that the governing body AIBA has allows professionals to bid for a medal.
He said he didn’t want to take the opportunity away from others – besides “if pros had been allowed back in 2012, it would have prevented me winning the gold. I wasn’t seasoned at all”.
About Saturday’s fight he said: “We’re competitors, regardless of all the things outside the fight, the fans, The O2, him thinking he’s going to come here and smack me all around that ring, it’s not that simple.
“You need to change your mind-set and think about how you are dealing with because you are not dealing with an idiot. I am serious about this boxing and I want to be a success.”
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