Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale & George Groves vs Martin Murray
BY KID HERSH
George Groves (23-3, 18ko's) vs Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16ko's). In the first round it was all George Groves, as Murray was content with measuring his man and even getting backed up which is unusual for his typical style. Groves was sending out feeler jabs but has not really unloaded his powerful right hand just yet. The only thing typical about Murray's start was how slow it was, as the second round evidenced. He came forward more in the second but still was not unloading many shots. He did let loose with some right hands finally - and they landed but they did not have any sort of big effect as Groves easily outworked him again and was the ring general. This continued through the third round until near the end when with only about ten seconds left in the third Murray landed a right hand that had all of his power behind it - doing no damage to Groves. Not a good sign for Murray who is falling behind on the cards quickly and looks like he is banking on a single punch hurting his man. It all mounted to the fourth round though - which is, as I always say, the biggest round in boxing that typically mounts to a point where a fighter has to change the way the fight is going and make a stand. This is exactly what Murray had to do - and that he did - as he bulled Groves around the ring and into the ropes and unleashed punches that landed flush, including the right hand. He won his first round of the fight and it looked like a turning point - as long as he can keep it up because it took a lot of energy for him to fight the way he did throughout the round. In the fifth round Groves took control of the fight back over and became the ring general again. Murray was pressing forward still but had nowhere near the work rate of the previous round as he was simply following his man instead of cutting the ring off and trapping him on the ropes while unloading punches. The difference was that Groves was getting his shots off first and then moving for the fifth. This continued through the sixth round and then in the seventh round Groves completely took over the fight and actually started to break his man down. He was digging shots to the body that were vicious and then at the end of the round landed a right hand through the guard to Murray's chin that wobbled him, backing him up to end the round and looking the much worse for wear man. In the eighth round Groves smelled blood in the water right away from the start as Murray came out looking meek and giving ground immediately. Groves could not miss with his shots and he unloaded them in bunches, blasting home of Murray who was gulping for air and looking for a moments respite which he was not getting. Surprisingly Murray came out refreshed in the ninth round, backing up Groves and looking to put the pressure on again to make something happen seeing as how he needs a knockout at this point to win. H eWorld hold his own in the round - meaning he is not taking serious punishment like in the previous ones. - but unfortunately at the very end of the round he would take another right through the guard just like the punch at the end of the seventh round. In the tenth round we saw the heart of Martin Murray as he came out yet again with renewed energy and won the round off of work rate - no doubt looking to knock his man out. He landed left hooks and right hands that had people on their feet - thinking he might just be able to pull it off yet. Murray would try his damndest in the championship rounds to get the knockout but he had just taken too much of beating, as well as did not have a powerful enough punch to take his man out. They would finish the fight swinging at each other and being so exhausted that they were nearly tipping over completely from lack of energy. The cards would come in a wide UD for Groves in a well deserved victory.
Main event time featuring the heavyweight phenom Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16ko's) vs Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15ko's). Breazeale was absorbing a lot of punishment in the first round, not doing much after getting tagged with a left hook early on that seemed to completely blunt Breazeale's offense. In the second round Breazeale beat the living piss out of Breazeale as he simply cannot miss with his punches. He blasted home a right hand midway through the round that had Breazeale on Queer Street but Joshua backed off the gas and bided his time. I believe he could have taken Breazeale out if he wanted to but is instead sticking to a game plan in boxing and not taking unnecessary risks. In the third round Breazeale took more punishment, fighting back in spurts but having no success even in the rare moments where he landed his right hand because Joshua would fight back violently immediately to take control back over. Joshua is absolutely dominating the fight and just waiting for the right moment to get his one punch knockout. In the coming rounds Breazeale continued upsetting the odds by simply making it further into the fight - despite having a right eye that was nearly closed since the fourth. He fought valiantly but finally succumbed to the punishment in the seventh round when he got blasted to the canvas from a series of combinations that he simply could not take anymore. He rose but was put back down and the fight was stopped with him in the corner, not likely to get up again.