Undefeated heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (13-0, 12 KO’s) has had little trouble over the first two years of his career, but this Saturday the 2012 U.S. Olympian takes another step up when he faces Victor Bisbal (21-2, 15 KO’s), another former Olympic competitor, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The scheduled eight round contest is part of NBC Sports inaugural Premier Boxing Champions program, headlined by Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero.
The California native comes from an athletic background, originally playing college football for the University of Northern Colorado. He excelled as an amateur, winning the 2012 U.S. National Super Heavyweight championship before representing the United States in the London Olympics where he was eliminated in the opening round. Entering the pro ranks just a few months later, he stopped his first nine opponents before being taken the eight round distance by veteran Nagy Aguilera. He went on to stop his next three opponents with little trouble.
At the time, Aguilera, with his experience against top level fighters in the division, was considered to have been Breazeale’s toughest challenge with that win pushing the 6’7” prospect to the next level. Victor Bisbal is now being viewed at as his next test and despite taking this fight off two years of inactivity, some say he’ll be tougher than Aguilera.
Like Breazeale, Bisbal, of Salinas, Puerto Rico, comes from an athletic background as a champion hurler and discus thrower before taking up the sweet science. As an amateur, he competed in a number of international competitions, winning a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan Am Games and headed to Athens to compete in the 2004 Olympics where he was eliminated in the preliminary round.
Bisbal’s professional numbers are impressive, and he was on a 16 fight winning streak before being stopped by Magomed Abdusalamov in his last outing two years ago. He gave a good account of himself through the first four rounds of that fight before getting stopped in the fifth.
Both fighters have a similar style, working off the jab and straight right hand. Breazeale has a slight edge in height and reach and is five years younger. Momentum is also in his favor; as he’s been building his career since 2012, Bisbal’s only activity was his fifth round loss to Abdusalamov. Although he’s at a disadvantage, Bisbal should be a decent enough test to gauge where Breazeale stands at this stage.