Anthony Joshua signs multi-fight deal with US television network Showtime

Anthony Joshua (left) in action with Kevin JohnsonAnthony Joshua (left) in action with Kevin Johnson
Anthony Joshua (left) in action with Kevin Johnson
Anthony Joshua is preparing to announce himself in the United States after signing a multi-fight deal with Showtime ahead of his maiden IBF world heavyweight title defence against the unbeaten Dominic Breazeale.

The pair meet at the O2 Arena on June 25, with Breazeale returning to London for the first time since his first-round defeat at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The 30-year-old from Los Angeles has won all 17 of his professional contests, with 15 stoppages, while Joshua has a 100 per cent knockout record after 16 bouts in the paid ranks.

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Following the announcement of his television deal with American network Showtime, Joshua said he is ready for what will be a level fight between two unbeaten combatants.

“I know there are a lot of positive things happening in boxing and around my career, you see my reaction when these things happen and you’re only good when you’re winning,” he said.

“Every fight could be your last fight, that is why I’m serious and I don’t let success go to my head. Me and Dominic are very equal, 17 fights, 16 fights, turned professional around the same time.

“It is a very equal fight, he is my fourth undefeated fighter I’ve been fighting. He gets to announce himself in the UK and I can announce myself in America and the best man will come out on top. May the best man win.”

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Showtime has shown Floyd Mayweather’s past six fights and also work with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder - a fighter on Joshua’s future radar - and away from sport the network shows highly popular television shows such as Homeland, Penny Dreadful and Episodes.

Sports executive for Showtime Stephen Espinoza said the signing of Joshua proves the strength currently in the British boxing scene.

“British Boxing is at an all-time high,” he said.

“There are more UK champions that at any point in history. Boxing is such a global sport..Joshua has global potential. We have featured Kell Brook, George Groves, Billy Joe Saunders.”

This will be Joshua’s first title defence since he took the title from Charles Martin with a second-round stoppage on April 9.

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Breazeale insists he will not make the same mistake as his compatriot having questioned Martin’s approach to his own bout with Joshua.

“It is a pleasure to be back in London,” he said.

“I couldn’t care less about the deals AJ has going on with Sky or Showtime, all I can do is prepare for June 25. I wish it was this weekend.

“Charles Martin came over here and dropped the ball, he wasn’t prepared for it. I’m hoping Anthony Joshua is preparing to be in a war and a dog fight because that is what I’m bringing.

“We are both Olympians and we represented our countries for a reason. I’m not coming here to hear the final bell or the judges scores, I’m coming all guns blazing and to knock Anthony Joshua out.”