FOR many Dominic Breazeale is not a natural fighter. A former American football player who switched to boxing and represented the USA at the 2012 Olympics and now challenges IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. But through the sport discovered a connection to the father he never knew.
“It’s in my blood, I learned that late,” Breazeale said. “I lost my mum back in December, very young, very, very short, at the time it came as almost a blessing in disguise. I learned a little about my father. My father wasn’t in my life but I was handed a box [of his mother’s], let’s say a keepsake, maybe a safebox, a memory box or whatnot. Inside it had a gumshield, boxing gloves, boxing shoes so of course I had to enquire, ask other family members about it. They were surprised that I had no idea. Here I was seven years into boxing and nobody told me my father was a standout amateur fighter and fought a little in the pros.
“I think my mum was trying to keep me away from it as long as she possibly could. Makes sense now when I told her when I was going to start boxing at 23 she thought I was crazy… It all sort of made sense when I opened up that box.”