Today at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sky Box Office (UK) and then picked up starting at 5:15 p.m. ET on Showtime (US), Anthony Joshua returns to the ring for his first defense of the IBF world heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale.
Joshua (16-0, 16 KO) and Breazeale (17-0, 15 KO) were both Olympians in 2012, Joshua winning a gold medal, and Breazeale losing in the first round. Their status as pro prospects has always followed that track; Joshua has been seen as a star, and he already is a star, while Breazeale, a former college football quarterback, was more of a project, and still is.
Joshua is the heavy favorite today in London, but anything can happen with two big guys who figure to be throwing their hands.
In the co-feature, George Groves (23-3, 18 KO) will face Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16 KO) in a pivotal 12-round super middleweight bout. Also on the show, Chris Eubank Jr (22-1, 17 KO) defends the British middleweight title against Tom Doran (17-0, 7 KO), in what may be Eubank’s final audition for a fight with Gennady Golovkin.
For more on all of those matchups, check out our preview, and join us today for the fights!
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Anthony Joshua def. Dominic Breazeale by TKO (1:01 of round 7)
George Groves def. Martin Murray by unanimous decision (118-110, 118-110, 118-110)
Chris Eubank Jr def. Tom Doran by TKO (2:35 of round 4)
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ROUND BY ROUND
ANTHONY JOSHUA vs DOMINIC BREAZEALE
Round 1: Joshua throws a hook, just misses. Some feinting from both. Left hook from Joshua lands, not hard, but clean. Joshua throwing from range. Breazeale comes forward with a right, blocked easily. Right hand from Joshua, blocked. In close, Breazeale with a body shot. Jab from Joshua. Right hand blocked. Combo from Joshua. Breazeale blocks a lot of it but it was thrown with intent. Joshua landing again late. Breazeale not shaking badly yet, but he's getting picked apart so far. Too slow. Joshua 10-9
Round 2: Breazeale hurt early in the round here. Breazeale just too damn slow. His reflexes aren't quick enough, his feet aren't quick enough, his hands aren't quick enough. The speed is the very obvious difference, but the technique also goes clearly to Joshua. Joshua slowing things back down, taking his time. Breazeale's right eye swelling up. Good body shot and an uppercut shakes Breazeale badly. Joshua now going for the finish with 30 seconds left in the round. Uppercut inside. Breazeale's legs still wobbly but he's staying away. Joshua with a big left, Breazeale has no choice but to throw back, and he does so and then holds on. He gets out of the round. Joshua 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Joshua starting to line up shots now. Breazeale's right eye closing up. Joshua just firing away at a safe distance. Breazeale basically just trying to survive right now and hope for a miracle. Breazeale lands a decent shot, and Joshua fires right back on him. Breazeale pinned on the ropes, trying to land, but Joshua can't get in clean and Breazeale ties him up and gets a break to get off the ropes. This is punishing stuff. Breazeale really has nothing to offer here other than toughness. Joshua 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Breazeale drilled again. Still staying up. So that's something. Breazeale's got no answer for anything Joshua is doing, but he's hanging around. Joshua 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Joshua smacking him with counter hooks. Breazeale's eye continuing to close up. Joshua fighting patiently here, not taking big risks, just letting his work pile up. Breazeale trying to fire to the body, but not getting much done. Another hard right late from Joshua. Joshua 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: More of the same. "Breazeale is the perfect opponent to practice stuff on!" Terrific world title fight! Joshua 10-9, 60-54
Round 7: Breazeale comes out throwing a bit more. Joshua throws back. Breazeale is down. The fight should be stopped, but it isn't. Another flurry, Breazeale down again, and now it is over. Joshua TKO-7
GEORGE GROVES vs MARTIN MURRAY
Round 1: Murray laying back too much to start, or at least too much to win the first round, but he could just be feeling Groves out, too. Groves does the more obvious work here, without question, and takes the opener. Groves 10-9
Round 2: Really nothing much going on here. Murray can't get going. Groves is winning but not doing much to win the rounds, it's just Murray doing even less. Groves 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Groves continuing to...win. This is a real thriller so far. Tactical. Groves 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Murray finally starting to open up, corners Groves and does some good work, Groves a little unsteady after that. Finally, some action. Murray really picking up his pace. He's gone from 0 to 60 here. Groves does a bit more as the round winds down, but this was a clear Murray round and the clearest of the rounds thus far. Murray 10-9, Groves 39-37
Round 5: Murray walking Groves down some this round. Groves appears to have no real snap on his shots. Pushing a lot of his punches. Murray again laying back a bit too much. Groves 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Groves continues to dictate the pace here in the sixth. It's not a huge pace, but it's a pace, and it's Groves' pace. Murray having bits of success but can't win this fight like this. Groves 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: Murray just has zero urgency. Groves starting to do a little damage this round, as they note, digging his shots in, and Murray is hurt late in the round, but too close to the bell for Groves to capitalize. Groves 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: Groves taking the initiative big time now, pounding away at Murray, who is on his bike. Body shots have piled up and Groves is clubbing away with thudding shots. Murray having a terrible time. Groves 10-9, 79-73
Round 9: Murray appears to have just hit the wall here. He’s doing a bit more this round but overall this is not a good showing. And credit to Groves, too, but still. Good right hand from Groves backs Murray down late in the round. He's hurt as the bell sounds, staggering to his corner. Groves 10-9, 89-82
Round 10: Now Murray is coming on strong! Groves a little uncomfortable early in the round, Murray throwing all but the kitchen sink, but Groves steadies himself and comes back with a big right hand of his own. Murray is really battling now. Murray 10-9, Groves 98-92
Round 11: Murray may have spent all the energy he had left in a desperate 10th, because Groves got back into that round and is in control here. Murray's going to need something very special at this point. Groves 10-9, 108-101
Round 12: Groves is swinging for the fences here, because he feels he can, or because he's lost his mind. And he has Murray hurt a bit, but he also loses his own balance and can't finish. Both guys certainly left it in the ring, no question there, and Groves earned the win. Groves 10-9, 118-110
CHRIS EUBANK JR vs TOM DORAN
Round 1: Eubank starts by standing in his own corner and waving Doran over to him, referee warns Eubank for his, uh, behavior. Eubank out to center ring, flicks some jabs out. Little left hand inside, then Eubank slips a shot back from Doran. Eubank hurts Doran a little bit, then Doran comes back to spin Eubank around, and Eubank trots away from the tie-up. Eubank taking his time. Eubank 10-9
Round 2: Doran is trying here, but Eubank looks like he'll do this job as soon as he feels like finishing things. Eubank almost toying with him. Could stand to see him actually just do the job, honestly. Eubank 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Doran is landing here and there, but I have to wonder if that's because Eubank has defensive holes or Eubank doesn't care. Body shots and a hard right hand from Eubank shakes Doran, and he's in trouble now. Doran being battered around the ring now! Eubank going for the finish! Doran trying to defend and stay away, but he gets clipped with an uppercut and goes down. Eubank looks into the crowd with contempt, but the fight goes on. Body shots from Eubank, and now back to the jab. Eubank to the body again. Doran with a right up top, some cheer, but Eubank has no trouble with it. Eubank 10-8, 30-26
Round 4: Doran down again, and now literally crawling on all fours from body shots. He's up, and he'll continue. Eubank is going for the finish. Doran down again. He just doesn't have the legs anymore. Doran down again. Fight stopped. Eubank TKO-4