PREVIEW: Joshua v Parker

Anthony Joshua, the current WBA, IBF and IBO, heavyweight champion, looks to take on the explosive Joseph Parker for the WBO heavyweight title on March 31 in Cardiff.

The Principality Stadium is set to host the first fight in British history between two reigning heavyweight champions. As well as a first for Britain, it is also a first for boxing as the two become the first heavyweight champions to step into the same ring with their professional records remaining flawless.

Parker comes into the fight after a points victory over Hughie Fury – cousin of Tyson- who was previously undefeated before the encounter. Joshua steps into the ring after defeating former two-time world heavyweight champion, Wladamir Klitschko, followed by a win against Carlos Takam.

Previous to the Klitschko fight, Joshua’s chin was yet to be properly tested, many thought. Going into the 6th round, Joshua hit the canvas and looked to be shaken for the first time in his professional career. The powerful Brit found his composure and went on to land the famous uppercut on the aging Russian, which led to his eventual victory.

 

Joshua is an explosive fighter, winning all 20 of his fights by KO or TKO. Despite having only 20 professional fights under his belt, Joshua has only had to fight 65 rounds, which is testament to his prolific attack that has made even established fighters, look amateur.

Joseph Parker has 24 wins with no loses, 18 of which were wins by KO/TKO. Parker faced Joshua’s most recent opponent – Takam – back in 2016, where he won by unanimous decision. Takam really looked to test Parker’s stamina in the 12 round bout. Parker has, however had enough time to build 0n this victory, and despite Joshua winning in 10 rounds against Takam in October 2017, Joshua wont be underestimating the New Zealander’s power.

In the press conference for the fight, Joshua claimed: “It will take more than a human to stop me from where I am destined to be.”

Parker didn’t hold back either as he said: “I can’t wait to have this fight happen on March 31. I can’t wait to put on a great performance, hopefully I will catch him on the chin and knock him out.”

Parker’s team made comments regarding Joshua’s record in the press conference: “He’s been dropped a few times. Incidentally, Joseph has never been dropped. If they’re trading what do we know? One guy hasn’t been dropped but the other guy has.”

Parker spoke out about what he thought of Joshua and their previous encounters: “I met Joshua once, when we were amateurs. I’ve been studying him ever since then. I watched him at the Olympics. He is a good fighter. He does a lot of good things, but some not so good things when he’s fighting… Truly I think I’m going to win.”

 

Joshua, humble as ever, spoke about his opinion on ‘trash talk’: “I’m not really into the verbals. It’s an opportunity for both camps, I’d fight him in the car park for free.”

With neither boxer having lost a fight in their professional careers, one will leave the ring in Cardiff with their record tarnished. Joshua goes into the fight as strong favourite with the bookmakers putting him at 1/14, while Parker currently sits at 7/1.

Edited by Evgeni Vakov

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