02 Arena, London, England, June 25
By Peter Lim
In the 2012 Olympics Joshua struck gold while Breazeale was eliminated in the first round of the tournament. Their careers played out pretty much the same way in the pro ranks with Joshua facing and defeating a substantially higher caliber of opponents than Breazeale.
In their previous fights, both beat powerful but relatively inexperienced southpaws. But while Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) effortlessly dismantled Charles Martin in two rounds, Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) was decked by Amir Monsour in a life-and-death struggle before Monsour succumbed to a jaw injury in the sixth round.
Any which way you look at it, Joshua is the more composite, fluid and accomplished fighter. Faster on the trigger with his jab, Joshua needs only a round or two to figure out Breazeale, and once he does, it becomes a one-sided affair. Dominating the action from long range and up close and personal, Joshua drops Breazeale multiple times before stopping him in the fifth round.
Joshua could have ended the fight at any time; he just chose to hold back, get in some rounds and give the fans their money's worth.