World champ Anthony Joshua took another sizeable step on the long march to unifying the heavyweight title on Saturday at The O2 at Greenwich .
As well as beating Dominic Breazeale in his first defence of his IBF belt, he was also tested against a more formidable opponent than he has been used to.
The panto parade of heavyweights that have come to The O2 to tackle either Joshua or David Haye has left punters and commentators shortchanged – unclear whether their fighters have anything other than impact.
It took Joshua seven rounds to remove the previously undefeated American from his march forward but they were crucial rounds in which he had to dismantle his opponent, rather than just batter him without breaking sweat.
Now Anthony Joshua – who says he’s doing all his learning in the public eye – is truly ready for what awaits. He will probably leave The O2, which has become his home venue of choice and look to other countries, notably America, to make his name.
In the meantime, he will go to Rio to support Team GB in the Olympics. He said: “I’ve got a good relationship with the boys. I’ve known them for years. It will be good to speak with them first-hand, behind closed doors. But the main thing is I want to catch up with my family, spend some nights at home.
“I only had two weeks off after my last fight and got straight back in the gym. I can have a nice little break for once and come back with recharged batteries.”
He’ll likely return to the ring later this year or early next.
“He needs a long rest,” his manager Barry Hearn said. “He needs to go and be a young boy, go and sit on the beach with his mates and mess around. It’s been absolutely relentless.”
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